AFTER cup jubilation in the week, and a disappointing defeat at home at the weekend, Rangers must once again pick themselves up and face Blackpool this Tuesday night.
There are many close connections between the Tangerines and The R`s with Zesh Rehman on loan at Bloomfield Road, whilst they also signed former R`s striker Daniel Nardiello. But undoubtedly the biggest deal between the two clubs was Kaspars Gorkss – a summer long scenario dragged out by Pool chairman Karl Oyston.
Over the summer with attention focused on Derby`s transfer exploits, not many noticed that Blackpool brought 13 new players in to Bloomfield Road, the likes of David Vaughan, Steve Kabba and Alan Gow were all brought in as the calibre of players improved dramatically.
Losing Gorkss to Rangers and Wes Hoolahan to Norwich City were the two downsides of a very busy summer in the transfer market for the Tangerines.
Since then the Tangerines have got off to a decent start as they currently sit mid-table putting in a string of decent performances, with new players gelling instantaneously.
View From The Bench
Rangers first team boss Iain Dowie spoke following the 2-0 defeat at home by Derby County,
‘We fell asleep twice on set-pieces and that’s very unlike us,’ Dowie told QPR.co.uk.
‘We had two crazy moments and its cost us today.”
‘Our passing wasn’t anywhere near good enough. We gave it away far too often. They won far more second balls we did.”
‘These days are going to happen. It’s a 46 rung ladder and we’ve slipped up on one of the steps.”
‘Good luck to them, they deserved the victory and we’ve got to move on.’
Despite his side flattering to deceive following their cup shock exploits against Aston Villa – Dowie moved forward to speak about Blackpool on Tuesday night where he expects a big improvement.
‘We had chances today and didn’t take them, but we’ve got the chance to bounce back against Blackpool on Tuesday and we need to do that,’ Dowie continued,
‘The Championship is good in that way, because the matches come so thick and fast. But we weren’t anywhere near good enough today and we’ve got to respond.’
Blackpool boss Simon Grayson spoke following his sides 1-1 home draw with Coventry City,
‘I think the draw was about right. It was a fair reflection of the game. We could not get much tempo going in the first half but we had them on the run for 25 minutes in the second period.”
‘I think that we would have got the victory had Ben Burgess’ header gone in but Coventry are a good side and they came back at us strongly.’
QPR Team News:
Rangers may make changes to the side following their defeat at home to Derby County.
Akos Buzsaky who had an ineffectual game on the left wing, could be the one to make way as Rangers require more width in the shape of Lee Cook.
Dowie is set to stick with the formation that has served him well in the past and not be tempted by two upfront. The R`s should start with Dexter Blackstock upfront, accompanied by the midfield trio of Mahon, Parejo and Rowlands, although Mikele Leigertwood continued to prowl the periphery.
Peter Ramage could also be set for a re-introduction, but Dowie has a habit of keeping faith with certain players, and I full expect Matthew Connolly to start at right full back.
The best that former Tangerine Kaspars Gorkss can hope for is a place on the bench, which he didn`t get at the weekend. Rangers fought tooth and nail to get his signature in the summer, but at this moment in time he isn`t a regular feature despite impressing in spells.
Nearly every week I find myself saying maybe he`ll change the keeper on that display at the weekend, but to be frank I don`t hold out much hope.
Player to watch: Dexter Blackstock
If we play to Dexter`s strengths there may be something to cheer about at the end of Tuesday nights fixture.
Despite all the ineptitude and the errant passing on display on Saturday, there was a five minute spell where Lee Cook would be pelting crossing into the middle for Dexter, and that`s where the R`s looked most potent.
Dexter has certainly impressed in recent weeks, with not just his goals, but his overall style of play, dropping deep to pick the ball up, laying it wide and above all working his socks off on his own upfront.
The R`s top scorer has four goals this season, after a tremendous start to the campaign, he will be hoping to notch a couple more as Rangers look to make it a less nervous affair than last year, where Gorkss himself contributed to a Blackpool goal.
Blackpool Team News:
Blackpool fielded an unchanged side for the visit of Coventry City at the weekend following a win over Birmingham City the week preceding.
Former R`s defender Ian Evatt will be looking to impress once again, against the side that released him back in June 2007.
There is one enforced change for the Tangerines, Zesh Rehman is ineligible to play against Rangers and will drop out of the 16. The strike force of Ben Burgess and Steve Kabba is proving successful, as the combination of pace and power continues to impress.
Former R`s target, Alan Gow who has yet to make his first start for the Tangerines will also be looking to take to the field, should one of the two first choice striker be unavailable.
Player to watch: Ben Burgess
Ben Burgess has been outlined by Nik as Blackpool`s one to watch going into the clash in W12.
For all the details and stats concerning the striker Click Here >>>
Rangers have stuttered in the league of late with back to back defeats against Coventry City and Derby County, however their cup exploits have been reason to cheers as Rangers now face Manchester United.
With the defeat at the weekend the R`s lost their 100% home record, and it was their third home defeat of the calendar year of 2008. Evidently it was the only home game this season in which the R`s failed to score.
Following a poor start to the season which included a defeat at Macclesfield in the Carling Cup, things picked up as they beat Southampton and Birmingham away and Barnsley at home – taking them up to 13th.
2 wins, a draw and a defeat from the four away games the Tangerines have had so far. A special win at St. Andrews will not be forgotten as Blackpool upset the odds against the division favourites.
HEAD 2 HEAD
Last time out
Tuesday 11th March 2008 – Loftus Road
QPR 3 (Buzsaky 11, Vine 40, Rowlands 47)
Blackpool 2 (Burgess 60, Gorkss 73)
Rangers Team: Lee Camp, Michael Mancienne, Matthew Connolly, Mikele Leigertwood, Damien Delaney, Akos Buzsaky (Kieran Lee 85), Fitz Hall, Martin Rowlands (Zesh Rehman 89), Rowan Vine, Dexter Blackstock, Patrick Agyemang (Gavin Mahon 66).
See also: One Day In History 1972-73 >>>.
Referee– Mr. G K Hegley
Assistants – Mr. I J Cooper & Mr. D Ford
Fourth official – Mr. G R Young
Grant Hegley from Hertfordshire will officiate Rangers clash with Blackpool this Tuesday
To get all the stats concerning the official Click Here >>>.
Rangers stuttered at home against Derby, and Blackpool have had some decent results on the road – but I think the R`s will get back to winning ways in style. Hopefully the players attack and managed to break down the defence; Which is why I predict:
Boxer`s Prediction: 2-0 Rangers
Who– Birmingham City
Where– St Andrews, Birmingham
When– Saturday 4th October: 12:45pm.