QPR distracted by potential points penalty

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QPR take a seven-point lead into this weekend's clash against Neil Warnock's former club Crystal Palace, but the build-up is being dominated by a situation similar to another part of the manager's past.

QPR were this week charged by the FA with seven breaches of regulations relating to third-party ownership and agents.

The charges relate to Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, who signed for Rangers for a club-record fee believed to be in the region of £3.5million in 2009.

The club have been charged with agreeing a deal with a third party for the player's economic rights and allegedly failing to notify the FA of the arrangement before registering Faurlin.

The club have denied the charges.

It is a situation which has brought comparisons to West Ham's signing of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, in which West Ham were ultimately fined for breaching the rules but not docked points.

The Hammers survived, on the back of goals scored by Tevez, while Sheffield United - then managed by Warnock - were relegated.

United later received millions of pounds in compensation after appealing, but Warnock, disillusioned, had already left the club.

He returned to football at Palace, the team whose relegation worries he must now deepen if QPR are to maintain their title charge even with the threat of a points deduction hanging over them.

Were QPR to receive a points punishment, the club first in line to benefit would be second-placed Swansea.

They are already doing their bit to slow Rangers' charge, having this week loaned midfielder Kemy Agustien to Palace in time for Saturday's game.

And now defender Neil Taylor has urged his team-mates to target victory in all remaining 10 games to ensure promotion.

"There's 10 games to go and the target is 10 wins," he said.

"I'm not saying we're going to get them all or need them all, but that's the target."

That challenge begins away to Derby, who sit 19th with manager Nigel Clough still under pressure.

Swansea cannot give any ground as they are above Norwich on goal difference alone, with the Canaries at home to Bristol City on Monday night.

Cardiff, who host Barnsley on Sunday, are two points further back, while Leeds are three from second place as they prepare to play Ipswich at Elland Road on Saturday.

Nottingham Forest are sixth, four points from second, but looking over their shoulders after defeat at Sheffield United, with Burnley three points back while having two games in hand.

Forest are at home to Doncaster while Burnley tackle Millwall at Turf Moor.

Tuesday's win over Forest was the Blades' first of 2011, and they will hope to build some momentum at Watford, where a win would lift them above Scunthorpe if they fail to beat Leicester at home.

Elsewhere, Coventry host Hull and Middlesbrough travel to Portsmouth.