Football: Adebola settles battle of Francises

Queen's Park Rangers 0 Birmingham City 1
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The Independent Online
GERRY FRANCIS, the new Queen's Park Rangers manager, will have talks with Vinnie Jones today in an attempt to sort out his position with the club. Jones, who was player-assistant manager under Ray Harford, has not turned up at Loftus Road since Francis became manager.

Francis said after yesterday's defeat by Birmingham City: "I will be meeting with Vinnie and his agent tomorrow to see what he wants to do and what he doesn't want to do.

"I have spoken to him three times on the phone and that has been both positive and negative. I don't want anyone here that doesn't want to stay. I don't know what has gone on in the past and what he was promised but we have to sort things out quickly."

Francis must also be wondering what he has let himself in for after seeing his new charges crash to a fourth consecutive defeat that leaves them bottom of the First Division.

It took second-placed Birmingham six minutes to unlock the fragile Rangers defence, as Trevor Francis' side scored with their first meaningful attack.

Jon McCarthy sent Gary Rowett away down the right and his cross to the far post saw Dele Adebola rise above Karl Ready to head in from two yards out.

Rangers showed plenty of fight in the first half and on 14 minutes Ian Baraclough won the ball on the left and his low cross was turned just wide by Kevin Gallen.

After 24 minutes Rowett slipped the ball to Peter Ndlovu whose shot was superbly parried by Ludek Miklosko and just before half-time McCarthy hit a shot from 20 yards which beat the keeper but clipped the post.

City took even tighter control after the break and but for some poor finishing would have won by more. Paul Furlong shrugged off Steve Morrow only to shoot wide while Adebola shot across the face of the goal.

Gerry Francis was blunt about his team's performance and warned that changes could be on the way. "I've given the players these last two games to show me what they can do now it's up to me to decide who I need and who I don't," he said.

"At the moment we are just not good enough and it has to be turned round and if that means bringing kids in then I will do it. I haven't got the money to go into the transfer market anyway.

"The confidence is very low and has been for a long time. You can try and change it but if you can't you have to change the players."

Trevor Francis, the Birmingham manger, was happy with the victory but not with the performance of his team. "I'd like to see more imagination and a bit more calmness in front of goal," he said.

"We were so wasteful today and if QPR had got an equaliser then I would have been very angry because we were in total control of that game and should have won with ease."

Goal: Adebola (6) 0-1.

Queen's Park Rangers: Miklosko; Rose, Baraclough, Morrow, Ready, Maddix (Rowland, 41), Scully, Peacock, Slade (Sheron, 61), Gallen, Murray, Rowland (Dowie 72).

Birmingham City: Poole; Rowett, Charlton, Purse, Marsden, Johnson, McCarthy, Adebola (Forster, 71), Furlong, O'Connor (Holland, 71), Ndlovu (Ablett, 90).

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn).

Attendance: 10,272.

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