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Saturday, 04 April 2015, 15:00

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Sunday, 22 March 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Bond concedes automatic chase

Kevin Bond admitted it will now be "very difficult" for QPR to win automatic promotion after they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool.

Last Updated: 31/03/14 at 14:19 Post Comment

Kevin Bond: Not optimistic on QPR's automatic promotion hopes

Kevin Bond: Not optimistic on QPR's automatic promotion hopes

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Three points for Rangers would have taken them to within seven of second-placed Burnley, who were beaten at home by Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester earlier in the day.

But they produced a lacklustre display and trailed to David Goodwillie's 10th-minute goal before substitute Junior Hoilett fired home an equaliser with 11 minutes remaining.

"I think it's going to be very difficult. It was always going to be, but we've made it more difficult," said assistant manager Bond.

"Burnley got beaten today and it was just an opportunity for us. We didn't take anything for granted though, you can't assume anything, and it turned out to be a difficult game for us.

"The pace of the game was too slow. We weren't dynamic enough and couldn't get a tempo going. We had enough opportunities to win the game, but it wasn't our day.

"We're extremely disappointed we couldn't make up more ground. But we've got to keep going and make sure we at least get a play-off spot."

Getting injured players back for the play-offs now appears to be the priority for Rangers, who have missed sidelined top scorer Charlie Austin.

They were at least boosted by the return of Danny Simpson - the defender came on as a substitute after more than two months out with a back problem.

Bond added: "We need to get a bit of momentum, need everybody fit going into the latter part of the season and see where it take us.

"Hopefully, as a minimum, we can make the play-offs, and if that's the way it's going to be then we want to be in a rich vein of form.

"The injuries haven't helped us and the important thing for us is to get everybody fit and to be in good form."

Blackpool caretaker manager Barry Ferguson was pleased with the result despite the late equaliser.

"I'm happy to come away with a point. It's a good point, because our away form has not been great," said Ferguson.

"I knew when I took over that things were not going to be easy, but the boys have responded in the last couple of weeks with two wins and a draw, so we're slowly getting there.

"I had to work hard on the way we defend and we've started to defend really well. Now we need to start putting the ball in the back of the net.

"I want to move the ball around and have had to change the way I'd like to play just to get results - but the boys are starting to get a bit of confidence.

"I said to them before the game that we've got to believe we can come here and get three points. QPR have a lot of good players but we have good players too. I didn't want them fearing anything."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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