Often Partisan

Tough Test at Loftus Road: QPR Preview

Birmingham City make the trip down the M1 today to face highly fancied QPR in the Championship with Lee Clark knowing he has a tough job if Blues are to take anything from this game.

QPR

Harry Redknapp has Tom Carroll and Matt Phillips available for the first time today with Carroll having signed on deadline day on loan from Spurs and Phillips having to delay his debut due to a broken arm. However, Niko Kranjcar and Benoit Assou-Ekotto will have to wait for their debuts due to injury and former Blues striker Andy Johnson will miss out with a knee problem.

QPR, who are unbeaten in five league games this season sit second in the table on goal difference and will be looking to take maximum points as they build their challenge for their immediate return to the top flight.

Blues

Lee Clark will continue to be without Nikola Zigic, Akwasi Asante, David Murphy and Koby Arthur although all are back in full training and Hayden Mullins will miss out due to picking up an injury in a private development squad friendly in the week. Neal Eardley will miss the majority of the season having damaged ligaments against Ipswich but new signing Paul Caddis should slot in at right back.

The key question is what formation Blues will go with; I’m of the impression that Clark must pack out the midfield and go 4-5-1 if he is to get anything from this game. Caddis and Burke linked up well last season on the right and should be an automatic choice but on the left I think Clark needs to think hard and maybe look at going with Hancox and Ferguson to offer balance to the team. Despite him being unpopular I believe Novak would be the best bet up front – especially if Burke and Ferguson push up to support him from the wings and a player such as Scott Allan or Andrew Shinnie tucks in behind.

I can’t see us getting anything out of this game and thus I’m completely relaxed about it. It would be a massive morale booster if Blues did get something out of it tough and I think Clark needs to ensure that the team has balance and can hit QPR on the break.

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100 Responses to “Tough Test at Loftus Road: QPR Preview”

  • Lee says:

    Point from this would be a massive result

  • Blue Steve says:

    Completely agree I to would go with 4-5-1. An interesting question is, who are the 2 centre backs Burn is a definite starter but who partners him Bartley or Robinson? I would go with Bartley.

  • StevieW says:

    I Will never write Blues off on anything but my expectations is to get nothing, who gave us a chance against the gooners all those years ago.

    Always believe but never expect.

  • Bobble says:

    More likely to travel down the M40

  • mark says:

    451 is the way to go… matt green at the double….be interesting to see if barton lasts the full 90mins……sing your heart for the lads……. Get in there kro….

  • sutton apex says:

    agree – 4 5 1 but must have have battlers in middle, callum reilly, spector as a minimum – get bore draw 0-0

  • Reggie boosh says:

    My team would be
    Randolph
    Caddis
    Bartley
    Burn
    Hancox
    Burke
    Spector
    Elliott
    Ferguson
    Allan
    Novak

    Think we should test Bartley and burn out. Would like to see Elliott back in midfield as although light weight we need someone who can control and pass to retain possession. Agree Novak just for this game but suspect I may have changed my mind after 20 minutes !

  • dave mann says:

    4-5-1 is the way to go today without dought,
    randolph
    caddis
    hancox
    bartley
    burm
    burke
    ferguson
    allan
    adeyemi
    shinnie
    green
    it WONT be this team because lee loves elliott and robinson, but thats the team i would pick
    but a point today would be a result, 3 points incredible, a loss expected so lete wait and
    see but its good to have zigic and murphy back training with the first team again and
    hopefully concidered for sheff .w. next saturday.KRO.

    • steve says:

      Before yesterday Elliot had been dropped for a few games so i don’t know where that comment comes from. Personally,with the squad we have,i’d pick him every week.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I suspect Clark might revert to 3-5-2 today, to tighten it up.. but I hope not.

    We have a soft underbelly and the only defensive-minded midfielder we have is Spector, so he has to play. I can see a case for maybe going with a 4-1-4-1 formation (I think it was alluded to by Applebob yesterday.) With Spector sitting in front of the back 4, to give them a bit more security, it would still allow for Burke and Ferguson out wide. The other midfielders are attacking players, so you’d have to perm any two from four (Elliott, Adeyemi, Allan and Shinnie.) Personally, I’d go with Green up front. If Burke and Ferguson do manage to get behind their full backs, we need someone who is quick in the box and can head the ball.

    To list a team is pointless because, as we don’t know which formation Clark will play, we don’t know which players he’ll use. So I won’t.

  • Frankie says:

    Formation is irrelevent …
    We DO though need to win, or at least even the ‘battle in in midfield and defend solidly.
    I too would have Novak up front, he is a grafter and hopefully he isn’t ‘unpopular’ with some of the fickle ones.
    The team AND the fans need to stick together, its going to be a long road this season and survival is the name of the game.
    This is the sort of game where we might just surprise one or two.
    Avoid giving away an early goa, else it could get messy.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I like Novak, I’m not one of his detractors… but the main reason I’d use Green up front, is because, whichever way I look at it, I can’t see it being a 0-0. To be able to draw or win, we’re going to need to score at least one goal and Novak’s confidence isn’t that great just yet to rely on him to score that goal.

  • dave mann says:

    i was not gonna throw a team out to be honest but were all managers and as i said
    that would be the team I would pick, 4-5-1, if we play 3-5-2 were get murdered in my
    opinion but were all have to wait and see what happens but i will not predict the score
    cause that could be anything, depends what blues team turns up.KRO.
    By the way come on you ” peaky blinders” riveting tv the other night.

  • Jaffa says:

    Fingers crossed but i fear a loss today.Clarke still does’nt know what formation to play or who is best eleven are.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    My worst fears have been realised. 3-5-2

  • sappy sad says:

    ……..for me we are going to go for this one…..sit back and we lose …..Randolph ….
    …………. bartley ……………….burn
    ……..caddiss…………..robbo………..hancox
    burke………………..allen……………shinnie…………Elliot
    green
    in a 2x3x4x1 formation

  • dave mann says:

    had to miss the game today, work called, but the misses and son have gone, again lee clark
    plays a team that were all a bit miffed at but were judge him about 4-45.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Very disappointed we got nothing from another game we should have won comfortably. I don’t know what else Lee Clark can do… except put his boots on.

  • mark says:

    Absolutely right there staffsblue he did everything right. Lady luck appears not to be with our team at this moment in time. Well done again to our fantastic support 2,900 kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m sorry to say it, but Shinnie shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the opposition box from now on. He’s becoming the new Zigic with the amount of clear chances he’s missing. It’s time to give Scott Allan, or even Darren Ambrose a few games instead. And I never thought I’d say it… but roll on Zigic coming back.

    • steve says:

      1732 fans

    • steve says:

      No he didn’t.He didn’t pick our best players again.

  • mark says:

    Again aside who are 2nd in the league and we matched them. I am definitely f**ked with the post……spector dived for a penalty absolutely horsesh*t…….surely someone upstairs will give us some luck…….

    • StaffsBlue says:

      We’ve not just matched them though mark…. we’ve outplayed them for long periods. If we’d won that game by 2 or 3 goals, QPR couldn’t have had any complaints.

  • mark says:

    How on on earth did barton managed to stay o the pitch…..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Every opinion I’ve heard on tv and radio reckons he should have gone. Then Robbo gets a yellow just for challenging SWP. Am I right in thinking he’s suspended now?

  • Bobble says:

    Maybe here is a legitimate complaint against Lee C, he is just too nice with the referees. If the calls had gone the other way ‘Arry would have been spitting and slobbering all over the touchline and cameras. Does Fergie want a part-time job, touchline monitor two hours a week.
    Lee C has good players playing Blues’ football and the lads deserved better from the officials. Once again we are left looking at the useless authorities.

  • mark says:

    Sorry to go on about it again but the ref was toothless, spector does not down like he been shot.. Ref got this completely wrong, draw would have been excellent result.

  • Tony says:

    1-0 defeat much better than I expected,afraid the lack of quality strikers wise is really telling now, Shinnie missed one it was easier to score, Novak needs to be told the idea is to put the ball between the two white sticks not try and hit one of them.
    All in all unlucky but its the worst start in 25 years.

  • mark says:

    Family members who went gave me their account of what they saw from the game……and totally agree we had chances to finish off qpr. A least should been a goal up in the first half by all account………..

    • almajir says:

      So you didn’t see it with your own eyes then?

      I only ask because my friend Matthew (of Tilton Strugglers fame) was also there and said it was a dive…

      Now as I didn’t see it, I’m not going to comment… and I think people should be wary of relying on second hand points of view for exactly what happened.

      • mark says:

        Maybe other fans who went might have a different opinion to your mate dan……..equally these are their views aswell. I will have to differ from your comments on this occasion……. Still we are on the same side ……..if they felt it was a penalty why should I not believe them…….by the way I happy read other people views….kro

        • steve says:

          I have to say that from where i was it wasn’t a penalty. It’s not down to bad luck,it’s the managers selection. No allen,no Green but still feckin Novak. We didn’t play that badly tbf,but we can’t keep blaming bad luck. Mark,you really need to take off your Blue tinted glasses mate,cause we’re really in the shite.

          • mark says:

            Hi Steve sorry you feel you need to blame clark thats your views mate. A manager can only do so much, the rest comes down to the players on the day. I believe the woodwork is our top scorer by miles, you can correct me if I am wrong. This team is only getting beat by 1nil which is a shame in its self because it do not reflect how well we played within match. Yes with a bit of luck hopefully our luck will change. Sorry if does not run along side your opinions. But do respect your comments even if it differs from mine….. My head will not drop, I believe strongly our fortunes will change……….

          • steve says:

            Mark,the manager is to blame if he doesn’t pick the best players. Why Novak? Why Lovenkrands before Green? Why no Scott Allen ? As far as i know they’re not injured. The players are working hard and doing their best.It’s not their fault if their best isn’t good enough. It’s Clarks fault if he doesn’t pick the best players in their best position.

  • Tony says:

    According to Tatts, the ref was the only one in the ground who did not think it was a Penalty

  • Chris W says:

    1-0 and another game we should have got something from.
    We are doing all the right things except score, hopefully the board will look down the sofa again and fund a goalscorer from the loan market, that is not a request but a must.
    I thought it was a solid performance and Novack and Shinnie could have won us the game.
    A lot of people thought we were onto a hiding but this team is just as good as Rangers and for one lapse we were beaten, again we didn’t get the rub from the officials either.
    Not sure now what LC can do, we need Zigic fit or not until the board cough up for a decent striker.
    KRO

  • Blue92 says:

    Why is Callum R not playing at all?? And who is Brown? Why not play Peter all last season but play him now I’m worried

    • Chris W says:

      I agree with Lovenkraands, why is he in the squad, he has not shown anything of his so called class since he arrived.
      The only thing we are lacking at the moment is a striker who can find the net, Novak has had chances that are easier to score but he manages to hit the post or the crowd, Lady Luck has to come our way soon.
      Even ‘arry was surprised at our performance and the referee wasn’t giving us any favours once again.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Our 4 defeats have all been by one goal. All we need is to start scoring. If that happens, with our general play as good as it has been, we’ll win more than we lose. You might laugh, but I feel it’s only a matter of time before we give someone a good pasting.

    • mark says:

      tbh my friend we will have the last laugh trust me……While this team is in working progress it will even out………. From the feedback from family members this was a very unlucky match to lose or at the least a draw for their endeavor. Barton should gone in the first half, luck is definately not with us at this moment in time, this will surely change so i am definately not downhearted like others…………..

      • Art Watson says:

        Mark,

        How on earth is this result working progress.?

        P6/L4/W1/D1….4tpts from 6 games in this league is relegation form not working progress.

        • Chris W says:

          There are teams worse off than we are, we have not been outplayed yet this season, so I would say “yes, work in progress”.
          Once we start finding the net and get that winning mentality, I believe will move up the league. I keep saying it, but let us see where we are after 10 to 12 games, the loan window is open so hopefully LC can negotiate a deal where they pay us to play a player for the experience, these games against Man U academy’s might yield something.
          KRO

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If it was a dive by of all people Spector then this say a lot for the desperation that must exist now

  • mike b says:

    Hi. All…looks like it has got to be. ?..Zigic…to save us..

  • mark says:

    Has robbo now picked up a suspension now??

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    From the very little on the highlights our approach play was good; Novak played an excellent ball into Shinnie which he should have buried.

  • mark says:

    Now that be interesting who will clark give the captain armband to against burnley??

  • Bobble says:

    Barton stays on the field, although a lot of people think that he should have gone in the first half. There is a case for taking the disciplinary decision out of the hands of the referee. The ref concentrates on the footballing decision, is it a foul, do I wave play on or blow for a freekick. The disciplinary official/arbitrator is in a studio, away from the players and managers, wired to the ref and assistants and screens for replays and slow motions. He can take as long as he needs and at the next break in play, warns the ref and has his decision up on the screen.
    Dan, could the football league/championship go it alone on something like this or does everything have to allow for games on parks pitches.

    • almajir says:

      No ta. Video replays would kill football.

      • Bobble says:

        \\No stopping the game for video replays, that all goes on in the official’s studio. The game flows quicker because the ref is not occupied with bookings.

        • almajir says:

          Still a big fat no from me, sorry. I don’t like any interference with the ref, I don’t agree with the usage of goalline technology either

          • Bobble says:

            OK. Still think there’s mileage in it.

          • Chris W says:

            I think that Referees should have more help, all this time wasting with late substitutions should be stopped.
            No substitutions allowed for the last 10 minutes, unless a serious injury is occurred, whereby the player automatically misses the next game.
            I like the idea of allowing the game to flow and a player being cautioned if deemed worthy upon the next break in play.
            With all the technology available and decisions costing thousands or worse managers jobs why should it all depend on just one man in the middle?
            The only alternative is for a panel consisting of referees, players and managers from the relative leagues be allowed to over turn decisions… similar to overturning red cards or bookings, but there has to be a limit of clubs will be challenging every goal or sending off.

  • Bobble says:

    Captaincy to Burn After the Ipswich game he came right up to the Tilton and round to the Kop to applaud the fans.

  • Frankie says:

    What a joke .. How can ANYONE blame Lee Clark for anything at BCFC.
    Was there yesterday and we were magnificent first half, should have been 2 up by the break.
    Even Harry Redknapp (somewhat sager on football matters than your average fan) thought we were set up superbly and were the better side.
    We deserved at least a point yesterday and yes it was a penalty and against ANY other side than Harry’s it would have been given, Spector aint the diving type.
    Lets just ignore anyone crass enough to blame Clark, he is doing a fabbo job and getting 100% out of the playerss
    A bit of ;luck and a few goals is all we need.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The tide will turn Frankie, I’m sure of it.

    • steve says:

      If he’s getting 100% out of the players then we’re well and truly fooked. They play to his instruction and he leaves the better players out. So i,m obviously crass because i put the majority of the blame on him.As for the penalty,i haven’t seen it on the tv,but from what i saw at the time it wasn’t a pen.

  • Roy Smith says:

    Interestingly BBC didn’t show the penalty incident or the Barton fouls, Wonder why?
    On a totally different point did anyone see the BBC website’s discussion of the price of football in Europe? If not have a look.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24086153

  • Frankie says:

    No worries Steve, am sure there’s a few who ‘blame Clark’ also, always are a few.
    Not sure what you do for a living but no doubt you’d be somewhat brassedoff if he popped around and pretended to know more abou it than yourself.
    Ridiculous isn’t ‘t it.

  • steve says:

    He doesn’t pay to come and watch me at work Frankie. I pay to watch him at work and he’s not earning his money.We pay our money,so in my opinion we’re entitled to let him know what we think.All he has to do is keep us up this season. This squad is more than capable of that,if the right players are picked,which they’re not. that’s down to him,and him alone.

  • Bobble says:

    All the successful managers have insisted that the players buy into the whole regime, not just turn up on match day. Lee C and his staff are pushing that hard. The best result he has had to date in getting 100% from a player is with Ravel Morison last season. Novak played his best game on Saturday, all the running channels, chasing lost causes plus a difficult header that deserved a goal and a neat set up for Shinnie, Perhaps the ones left out have not produced the goods in training. Perhaps the ones in the squad have produced the goods, and that includes Lovenkrands. What if the sow that is Lovenkrands becomes a silk purse. I think that there is enough evidence for us to put trust in Lee C and his staff. It was a long time ago, but Brian Clough’s Derby lost the first five games at this level before going on to win the division and then on to win the title in the top flight.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Everybody seemed bemused at the 3-4-3 yesterday. I don’t know why, it was obvious that it would revert to a 5-4-1 when not in possession. Instead of slating Lee Clark, how about a bit of credit for tactically outwitting Harry Redknapp… who himself said we were excellent first half and gave them loads of problems. Harry switched to 4-3-3 second half to try and change things and Clark matched them up with 4-3-3. Unfortunately, the goal came between the start of the second half and us switching to 4-3-3.

      The ONLY thing missing were the goals we deserved. Credit where it’s due for a change.

      • steve says:

        One of the reasons the goals are missing is because elsie keeps picking Novak. He’s had a decent run,now it must be time to give Matt Green a decent run.We’re back to team selection and only one person is responsible for that.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          It’s hard to drop a player who is giving 110% for the team. We just need a goalscorer alongside him. Whether that’s Green, or maybe Asante or Hayles, I’m not sure. Although Novak hasn’t scored, he hasn’t deserved to be dropped either.

          • steve says:

            Disagree Staffs. A striker is there to create or score goals and he’s doing neither. When Zigic is fit he will have to leave him out because they can’t play together. Ziggy might not be prolific,but he will create and score more than Novak.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            He was very unlucky with a difficult header that hit the post yesterday…. and I seem to remember him setting up a sitter for Shinnie.

  • Tony says:

    Have to agree with Steve,his job this season is to keep us up thats all, Iv said it before this squad is capable of finishing half way in the league, just as last year it should have finishes top six.

  • Tony says:

    EERRRRR Bobbie that aint gonna happen.

  • mark says:

    I love been bluenose the pain,the heartache, the disappointment………..our time will come……..believe

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If we were playing bad, like last season, I’d be worried, but we’re not. There’s still 120 points to play for.

      • steve says:

        What ? Staffs we’ve been awful,especially at home. One deflected goal at home isn’t good enough.It’s always said that you have to win your home games. Well we’re not and that makes me worry. We’re desperate for some loan signings otherwise it will be a long hard season.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I agree about the loan signings… and Lee Clark has already said, he’s got 2 or 3 players lined up. He just needs the green light from the board. What more can he do?

          • steve says:

            As i keep saying. Pick the best players and play them in their right positions. It might help.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I meant where signings are concerned. He can only line them up, then ask the board.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            There are certain players who I personally wouldn’t play, but at the end of the day, the manager is paid to pick the team and I’ll get behind every player that’s in the matchday squad, whether I like them or not.

          • steve says:

            Well the kid from United seems to be on his way and he’s supposed to be an attacking midfielder who is getting rave reviews. Hopefully at least one more striker.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There might be a problem with the Man U player. Usually, clubs wait until late in the loan window, then have a player on a 3 month loan, which takes them up to the January window… and then extend the loan until the end of the season. I read the other day, that Lindgard (?) will be 21 in December, which means that if we have him on a youth loan, we won’t be able to extend that because he’ll be 21. That means, we’d have to wait until January to arrange a proper loan, that’s if we can afford to, or have room in the squad.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  • mark says:

    Pick the best players from the back row, well if the best players were giving it week in and week out they would keep themselves in the team I would have thought…. The recipe is nearly there…….who knows maybe ziggy input could possibly be the click…..this team is still finding it feet, 10 players had their debuts……..some fans want instance success, this team is earning it stripes. Fantastic news about players coming….

  • mark says:

    Matty fryatt worth punt I believe Bruce would let him out on loan though the media……


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