Mick Russell is the man in the middle as QPR face Derby County tomorrow night – a side that have a good recent record in W12.
Russell was promoted to the National Referees List in 2004 and predominantly took charge of the lower league fixtures as is customary for fledgling officials.
He has had a smattering of Championship games in his brief refereeing career, but has only met Rangers once – albeit delayed as he called off the original fixture.
Mr Russell rather confusingly cites Grant Hegley as the best referee in the game at present – which tells its own story on how he plans to officiate tomorrow’s clash.
He will be assisted by Mr Matthew McGlaughlin (Bedfordshire) and Mr Wade Norcott (Essex) – with the fourth official Mr David Buck (Kent).
Mr Russell has taken charge of 32 games, dishing out 81 yellow cards and three reds – this gives him a card average of 2.63 cards per game.
Mr Russell has only taken charge of QPR once before as Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace came to town for the second time, after he called off the original fixture owing to a water-logged pitch.
Ákos Buzsáky’s 19th minute penalty put Rangers in front but in typical Warnock fashion his side battled back and equalised with a penalty of their own shortly after the hour mark.
Mr Russell & Queens Park Rangers
QPR 1-1 Crystal Palace – 03-11-2009
Goals: Ákos Buzsáky 19pen; Darren Ambrose 62pen
Yellow Cards: Wayne Routledge; Claude Davis.
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