Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – QPR Away

Blues travel to London today to take on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s QPR, hoping to close the gaps on the playoff teams.

QPR

QPR lie in 13th place in the table, six places and ten points behind Blues. Touted as a potential favourite to go up, their form has been indifferent and they’ve not won in three games. Their home win against Ipswich at the beginning of February is the sole home win in their last seven games at Loftus Road.

Alejandro Faurlin will have to face a late fitness test while goalkeeper Alex Smithies should keep his place despite receiving cuts to his face. Midfielder Tjaron Chery and winger Jamie Mackie are both pushing for recalls.

Blues

Blues only possible injury worry is Jonathan Grounds, who picked up a knock in the win over Bolton but is expected to be fit for this game. David Cotterill could come in for Will Buckley following the Welshman’s excellent second half on Tuesday night while Rowett will again have to decide between Jon Toral and Diego Fabbrini.

Ref

Roger East is in the middle for this game. He has taken charge of 27 games so far this season, handing out 76 cautions and one red card. His last Blues game was the 3-1 away win over Millwall in September 2014, when he booked four players including Koby Arthur, David Cotterill and Stephen Gleeson for Blues.

Suspension Watch

One red card (three match suspension served): James Vaughan

9 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
8 Yellow Cards: Stephen Gleeson
5 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Grounds and Diego Fabbrini
4 Yellow Cards: David Davis, Jon Toral, Paul Robinson and Paul Caddis
3 Yellow Cards: David Cotterill, Michael Morrison and James Vaughan
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector, Clayton Donaldson  and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is March 13, 2016

Fantasy football

Often Partisan has linked up with new BCFC sponsors Sportego to bring you weekly fantasy football competitions. Simply create an account atwww.bcfcfantasyfootball.com, pick who you think the best five players will be in today’s game – and the person with the best combination of five players wins.  The best entry this week will win hospitality tickets to the Hull game. Can you beat my picks?

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80 Responses to “GAMEDAY – QPR Away”

  • Mickmacablue says:

    hard call between toral and fabb, I heard tattum say at half time against Bolton that the reason for fab playing was that he was are player and toral on loan, I don’t think that the soul reason as shotton played in front of caddis, I think rowett belives that fab will create more chances out of tight encounters, something we missed at Bristol and Rotherham

    • steve says:

      Why does Buckley play then? Toral should start every time for me. At the moment Toral is our player and looked a different class when he came on Tuesday. Worry about him not being our player next season. If Tattum did say that then i think it’s poor from our head of media and i think GR wouldn’t be too happy about it either,

  • Dave Mann says:

    With Wednesday drawing it means a win today puts us a point behind with a game in hand so massive today .. And come on you dingles against Derby , Ime on my way so fingers crossed . KRO

  • Darren Brown says:

    Good luck to you Blue boys …
    Enjoy your day Blues fans
    CV7Blue

  • Pods says:

    With Sheffield Wednesday achieving an excellent point away at Hull last night to days game becomes even more important that we get something from game, Draws are becoming not sufficient as we are still some points behind.
    1-1 is my guess

    KRO

  • Tony E says:

    Not sure Cotterill is fit enough to start, I thought he looked tired after his short appearance against Bolton. Buckley was very poor and needs to be dropped just not sure Cotterill is ready to start yet.

  • Pods says:

    James Vaughan should be given a start and perhaps play a 4 4 2
    We need to start scoring more and get our goal diffrence up, it may come down to this at end of season.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Pods , Rowett doesent start 4-4-2 so I can’t see him changing now . KRO

  • Paul k says:

    I would love us to play 3-2-4-1 with both toral and fab playing. And cotts needs to start

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would go 4-3-3, as we did at Derby. QPR are an attacking side, just as Derby are and the 4-3-3 seems to nullify that. Then later in the game, we have the likes of Cotterill, Fabbrini and Vaughan to come in. I’d go 2-1 to Blues.

    Kuszczak

    Shotton Morrison Robinson Grounds

    Kieftenbeld Gleeson Davis

    Toral Donaldson Maghoma

    Subs: Legzdins, Caddis, Spector, Cotterill, Fabbrini, Buckley, Vaughan

    • Mitchell says:

      Yes Staffs I like that. Davis every time. QPR love to attack but have a soft underbelly. Little nervy about how long we may have to defend and of course concede possession. If 0-0 at half time then have to make a go it-key man today may be Vaughan.Law of averages suggest he must score.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That’s why I’ve opted for the 4-3-3. We might be under the cosh for long periods and the wall of Kief, Gleeson and Davis should cope with that. Also, I think Shotton will stand up to Phillips a lot better than Caddis tbh.

        • Mitchell says:

          Shotton for me is a strange one Staffs. I don’t see him as a right back. However he may well prove to be hard to shift-lets hope so. It’s the foraging right back runs which I feel we miss. Caddis makes dozens of these runs and does provide crosses. However GR knows the players so it’s his call. Problem that we older bluenoses have is that we have been fed with the likes of Carr,Langan,Harry Roberts,Dennis,Dicks etc…

          • StaffsBlue says:

            For me, I want a defender, first and foremost, to be able to defend. If he can do that, he’s doing his job. If he can get forward in attack, even better, but it’s not as important to me. There aren’t that many Stevie Carrs or David Murphys around these days to be fair.

        • Dave Mann says:

          You are so informative staffs and aware of the threat . KRO

    • Dave Mann says:

      The 4-3-3 team I said staffs , it’s good that real fans know the team we should pick , makes a change from fans who keep telling us different . KRO

  • That side looks good to me staffs blue and when maghoma has run their defence ragged and heavy legged after 60 minutes bring on fabbrini to turn them inside out ……come on CITY

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s the idea William, let them run themselves into the ground, then, when they’re blowing out their arses, bring on the likes of Cotts and Fab and finish the job.

  • Pods says:

    Staffs to be next blues manager, a good ready of the game.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Gary Rowett since becoming Blues’ manager has always favoured a strong defence over a less strong attack. And I agree with that.
    Now Blues approach the final 14 games of the season striving for the play-offs should Gary redress the balance? Only 3 teams have conceded fewer goals than Blues, but 13 teams have scored more.
    Arguably our 2 best players Fabbrini and Toral cannot start together!!!
    I would urge Gary to play a more attacking line up and really go all out to achieve promotion or fail in attacking glory.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      1-0 wins probably won’t get us into the top 2, but they will certainly get us into the play-offs. A 1-0 win is still 3 points. That’s why I think Rowett will continue as he has all season.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Looks like he’s going for it actually. Buckley and Toral on the bench.. Cotterill and Fabbrini start.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s certainly not a defensive line-up with Cotts, Fabbrini and Maghoma behind Donaldson.

  • Gary’s his own man and earns respect for it , he keeps his cards close to his chest , I think he is now thinking on the lines of two players one each half , both very skillful , both will go flat out in a attacking sense and be a focal point when going forward , Great stuff , ….kro

  • Who’s Paul Furlong cheering for …????

  • QPR 2 shots at goal counting the penalty 2 goals , that is cutting deep , time for toral with fabbrini and Donaldson , in second half

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Let’s face it Blues are not one of the 6 best teams this season. The problem? Only 39 goals in 33 games, just not good enough for promotion.

  • Art says:

    This is the business end of the season with teams fighting for survival and promotion.
    The squad is not strong enough and the manager is still learning his trade.
    I’ve mentioned before-top 10 finish would be an achievement with a challenge for promotion next year…this is not being negative its being realistic.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    QPR reporting that a coin was thrown from the Blues supporters during the first half. Video footage is being sent to police.

  • Little Al says:

    We have not had a goal scorer for two seasons now. QPR was always going to be a tough game away but we never had a shot on target first half. At the end of the day we are not quite good enough, unless we can remedy lack of goals we have no chance of getting the play offs. Hull next week and we will be lucky to get anything out of the game. Its frustrating but that is the reality of the situation, I have a feeling Rowett will not be here next season, he is has cut his teeth at Blues and will be wanting to go onto something better. Our results against so called lower teams have also cost us.The season has been a great improvement on last season and for that we have to be thankful, the ownership problems have cost us and will for some time yet.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There’s still a decent chance that we can get into the play-offs, but we always seem to blow the important games, those that would see us get in and amongst the top 6. Maybe we just don’t have a big game player. It’s no slight on the manager or players, it is what it is.

  • steve says:

    We weren’t at our best today. It was one of those days where none of the players were at it. We all know what this division is like. Everybody is beatable. Other results have been kind to us,so lets move on. I hate London,can’t wait to get home. Few beers then the last train home. KRO.

  • Tony says:

    People are saying GR is favouring Fabrinni over Toral because Toral will not be here next season, utter rubbish he must field his strongest side available that means Toral.
    This is not the time to worry about next season, just get the job done this season, to my mind it was a major error signing Fabrinni, he is a luxury. yes he may occasionally unlock a defence with a good pass but most of the time he is ineffectual a total passenger.
    My fear is our chances of getting to play offs are very distant, two bad mistakes today from a stand in right back, and a ponderous centre back..
    We look a far better side with Toral and Caddis in, why then does Rowett persist in leaving them out,also why was Vaughan signed as a striker? GR Is riding the crest of a wave at the moment he is due a fall.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Despite our decent league position the standard of football served up has been poor. How many times has it been said that we won “ugly”?
    We will never attract back the “missing” fans unless more exciting attractive football is played……The type of football seen when Freddie Goodwin, Jim Smith and even Barry Fry were managers.

  • David L says:

    Huge positives this season in terms of results, morale and pruned yet improved playing squad.
    Youngsters looking good too.
    Ownership possibly being settled.
    Positive, straight-talking manager
    All good stuff

    But, to coin a phrase, it feels like we’re coming to the end of this particular road.

    The stutter before Xmas was understandable.
    The response in the transfer window was good. More experience, seemingly more attacking variety.
    Yet look at the last 5 games. 3 against the worst teams in the division. One of them played with 10 men for some time. Yet we’ve only scored 2 goals in those 5 games, and the win on Tues was hugely laboured.

    Right now it feels like the season is fading away and we’ll end up with a safe 10thish finish – which, in August, I’d have been content with.

    Still. I’m pretty crud at predicting, so we’ll probably stuff Hull on Thu! I’m sure the optimists on here will give me a telling off!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I believe that Rowett made mistakes with both the personnel and the formation today.. but then, he’s paid to do the job, so only his opinion counts.

    We need to tighten up massively on Thursday, or it could be another defeat. We’re still only 4 points off the pace, with a game in hand, but we need a sequence of 3 or 4 wins pretty soon if we’re going to make those play-offs. After Hull, we have 4 or 5 very winnable games. We’ll be able to judge better after those.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      It was the same team I would have gone for so I can’t be wise after the event. We were second to every ball and didn’t make simple tackles not to mention not being able to string three passes together. The lack of mobility of our two full backs was evident to see and is a serious problem. QPR had better individual players especially Phillips and Hoilett. We were just as bad at Rotherham but we didn’t lose that because they were very poor. Hull will murder us if we don’t significantly improve on today’s performance.

  • Lichblue says:

    Shite. Need to start with Toral and Caddis. Back to basics please GR. Best part of the day was being locked for tbe first 15 mins due to the incompetence of QPR and the Police. Bloody disgrace.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I was there and we looked more like a relegation team than a play off team today, Not one of our players had anything approaching a decent game apart from our keeper, Shotton cannot stay in the team ahead of Caddis. I didn’t see what happened with the stewards and police before the game as were were already in – they were ok with us but then again we were not pissed out of our brains like some of our fans were, I did see several coins thrown from our end – inexcusable.

    • Tony says:

      Shirley that sounds a lot like Hillsborough, the police said that then too, get your blinkers off man the police are no ones friend apart from their own

      • Shirley Blue says:

        As I said we got in the upper tier 15 minutes before the kick off and we had absolutely no problem with either the police or stewards apart from getting misdirected to where we needed to go once. I got searched twice but for a public event in London I can understand them being careful. Don’t tell me what to think because I am only saying what I actually experienced.

  • ChrisG says:

    When the highlight of the game was seeing a QPR fan decked with one punch there is definately something wrong. Why Rowett has decided to change a team that was doing pretty well is beyond me. Torel is miles better than Fabrini, Shitton is a joke & was responsible for both of their goals today, Caddis must have shagged Rowetts wife he’s so out of favour, Gleeson has been poor for a while now & Davis is a real scrapper that we miss in the middle, a kind of engine room if you like. It’s time Donaldson was dropped, 1 shot on goal every 5 games or so is no good to us, i’d like to see Vaughan given a chance. I do wonder if Don & Fab are having a competition to see who can spend the most time on the ground. My advice to GR would be stop this shit with playing your favourites & pick a team to win.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I would prefer Spector at right back to Shotton if Caddis is out of favour.

  • atko says:

    I would just like us to have a go from now until the end of the season with more attacking formations and be more positive on the pitch instead of so negative. We cannot get promotion with 0-0 draws so defensive formations are no good. We are not going to go down so we might as well finish the season fighting! I am not at all upset with the manager or the players provided they come off that pitch at the final whistle having had a go & we can say they gave everything. It’s no good at the end of the season missing out by 1,2 or 3 points after other teams have limped in to the playoffs and we look back and say if only we had been more adventurous. Get the players in who will do a job…..rest those that are simply not cutting it right now & let’s see where we are at the end!

  • Lich Blues says:

    I would just like to say that many of us fans locked out of the ground were not pissed out of ours heads. I was their with my 13 year old son and our friends. I asked the Police Inspector why we were not being let into the ground and he said “your lot have turned up pissed, late and without tickets”. I pointed out that we had tickets, were certainly not drunk and we were at the ground for 14.40pm.

    I do not understand what happened. All I do know is that I have gone all over the country watching Blues and an awful lot this season and this is the first time this has ever happened. The crowd was starting to get agitated, the Police were giving us little and contradictory information and my lad was bloody terrified. A bad start to a crap game. I was glad to get out and go home.

  • Bromsgrove Blue says:

    Awful performance today just when we needed to get something to stay in touch with the teams chasing the playoffs. Thursday’s game against Hull now crucial for us kro.

  • No sense in crying we lost a game , we move on , 2 goals in 4mins killed us off . not enough shots on target again , something we need to address ., when we do we move up ..

  • Singapore Brum says:

    2 goals in 5 games which included games against 3 teams down at the bottom and 5 points out of 15 surely is a reality check. This is relegation form, certainly nowhere near promotion standard.

    I am amazed really that we have got as high as we are and I am chuffed at that, so let’s be content that we are pushing for a top half finish and not to expect too much. If we continue to be in the run for a play off place, that’s a bonus but realistically, we simply aren’t good enough.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Not an impressive performance what so ever from the team , the manager for not picking Caddis or Toral , the stewards, the police and a section of our fans particualy the one that decked the qpr fan with one punch which Ime ashamed to say was the highlight of the day , I think that tells you everything and was just glad to get home and look forward to Hull on Thursday . Not one of my favourite days out it must be said though I did get a picture with Panos and the qpr mascot so that’s something I suppose . KRO

  • Andrew says:

    Said it already that we don’t have it in us, just don’t score enough and the defence are OK but are prone to mistakes. An that looks more and more obvious every game. We’d have to win about 8 or 9 of our last 12 now I reckon, I would like to see who is going to back us to do that. Aston villa next season I tell you.

  • Dave Mann says:

    After yesterday it’s difficult to argue . KRO

    • ChrisG says:

      Dave I know a lot of fans that didn’t get in til about 3.30, they really don’t know how lucky they were, dire game on a freezing cold day made worse by police & stewards trying to incite a riot. No wonder there’s always violence whenever there is a protest march in London, it all makes sense now.
      3 players GR must play on thursday…..Caddis, Torel & Davis

  • Dave Mann says:

    Agreed Chris, we found a nice pub just ten minutes walk from the ground and left at half two and was in the ground for twenty to three so we were sensible but many fans leave it last muinite and then you get problems but personally we had no hassle at all though many fans did … Must play the three you say in a 4-3-3 system against Hull as those of us who were there would agree I think . KRO

    • ChrisG says:

      I got into the ground about 2.30 & there was no sign of unrest outside, but sky have reported that the police are saying there was trouble from a number of blues fans from 2.30 & a couple of police were injured which I didn’t see. I felt uneasy as soon as I got off the coach with the amount of police presence & although I did speak to a few & they were really friendly & chatty especially the scouse one we met, you did get the feeling they were there expecting trouble. I’ve had to change 1 or 2 things here now as I would get done for liable!!

  • .KC says:

    Having been really excited by the Fabbrini signing have to say disappointed so far. The rest of the Januaryish signings- Shotton ,Buckley, Vaughan are a waste of space and no better than the inconsistent squad that was already in place but where at time GR has brilliantly had them playing well above their general ability. Suggest we go back to the Derby team and build from there.

  • Dave Mann says:

    We had a little walk round before going to the pub and we talked with rangers fans and the police and though there was a lot of them around we felt safe and as I said we had no problems and was actually drinking in the pub with loads of their fans and everything was cushty as they say but for me the performance of the team worried me more than the performance of fans , stewards and the police and that’s what concerns me more to be honest . KRO

  • Mitchell says:

    Fabrini and Buckley cannot be made scapegoats but imo neither were remotely needed. Fabrini goes from club to club with nobody willing to buy except of course us. Buckley,Shotton and Vaughan in the same bracket made even worse by the continual dropping of Caddis and Davis-which borders on a disgrace.Hull has a 0-0 written all over which will only happen if our proven reliable players are brought back. Finally no more ‘we were not at our best today’ -it’s wearing thin and has all the hallmarks of Lee Clark.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I would take 0-0 all day Mitchell after yesterday , that would be a fantastic result . KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m beginning to agree with previous posters and now believe that the players brought in during January aren’t going to make any difference and may have, possibly, upset the apple cart a bit. So, I think we should try to keep a similar team for the rest of the season – barring injuries and suspensions – and only use the January buys when necessary. If players aren’t fit enough to play two 90 minute games in a week, then they shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team.

    It’s 4-3-3 for me:

    Kuszczak
    Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds
    Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Davis
    Toral Donaldson Maghoma.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes but as we’ve agreed staffs play Caddis play Cotterill but then you drop maghoma .. Not easy is it mate ! KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely. It’s a dilemma for sure. But, that’s what the manager is paid for, to work these things out and I’m sure he will. One thing is sure, another performance like yesterday and hope among the fans of the play-offs, I think, will disappear. The season will fizzle out and that would be a shame after the season we’ve had.

      One other thing I noticed yesterday during Rowett’s interview, was that he appeared to accept that the players might not be good enough to make that step up into the play-off positions. Did anyone else sense that?

      • Mitchell says:

        I sensed that too Staffs. -but the players added in January and it is sad to say-were simply not wanted by their clubs.This tells you a lot. Even Huddersfield felt Vaughan couldn’t help their plight. This is not knocking GR but it’s what our level is at the moment with no cash and no real serious investment on the horizon. Plus side is that we are stress free from relegation and more important from Adminisration which not so long ago were our dreaded twins.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think that’s the first time since he’s been here that he’s looked and sounded proper pi$$ed off after a game. Usually, he can still smile and find positives from a game, but that wasn’t evident yesterday.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes mate and that’s why I think we will just miss out ..ashame but as so many fans keep telling us maybe reality is setting in , whatever that is ! KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think whilst there’s hope, you have to believe that it’s possible. But when that hope goes, you expect mediocre and, fool that I am, I’m not accepting that just yet. The next 3 games will be telling, if we don’t get 5 or 6 points from them, then it’s probably all over for this season as far as the play-offs are concerned. The danger is then, that heads will drop and we could end up mid-table.

      • Dave Mann says:

        We wil end up as we both predicted between 10th &12th so let’s deal with it and just look to keep fighting .. Bluey is bang on and that I commend in for .. but please let’s just get this mess of the pitch sorted so we can move on next season .. Agreed Bluey ? KRO

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I can’t believe anyone could compare the current situation to the LC era as Mitchell has done. There is no comparison whatsoever now to going a whole year winning one home game or being dead and buried at half time in more games than I care to remember. I was there yesterday and I was gutted with that performance but QPR had some very good players on the pitch yesterday who they have spent a lot of money when they were in the Premier League. We are in a great position compared to them. We were written off before Xmas when we had a bad spell at home. We could easily go and win two or three in a row and the whole situation changes. Just keep things in perspective folks – we lost a battle yesterday but the war is far from over.

  • atko says:

    Right now I would play Maghoma over Cotterill any day, Dave! Cotts seems to have lost all confidence since returning & I think that probably has something to do with the Euros fast approaching. In a way you can’t blame him, Wales are not going to get there every 4 years if history has anything to go by but we do pay his wages week in, week out!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If Rowett insists on playing 4-2-3-1, which it looks like he will, then it’s got to be Cotterill Toral and Maghoma for me. The time for tinkering is over I feel.. we need to play our best, most consistent XI and let them get on with it in the last dozen games or so.

  • I recently made a comment that with the police force laying off bobbies , that clubs could rent a squad to share with other local clubs by staggering games , but now I realise if QPR ground is anything to go by , not implying anything , but I now realise that it could cause a lot of problems in itself , with accusations of favouritism , fans on the whole do not want violence, incitement , but also they do not want jackbooting


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