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Premier League

Christopher Samba demands response from QPR


QPR defender Christopher Samba claimed he was "ashamed" of his own performance and that of his team-mates in their 4-1 loss to Swansea almost a fortnight ago, and demanded much better when they face the daunting task of facing leaders Manchester United.

The £12.5million club record buy from Anzhi Makhachkala has attempted to stoke the fires of his team-mates ahead of a crucial match, with QPR seven points adrift of safety with 12 games remaining.

Demanding extra effort from everyone in the team, Samba said: "We've worked hard in the lead up to the game, and we all want to beat Manchester United.

"Whatever happens, we need to show great attitude and commitment on the pitch. We have quality, but we also have to show desire."

The two clubs directly above QPR in the table, Reading and Wigan, go head to head at the Madejski Stadium, with Latics manager Roberto Martinez wary of the Royals' late-show heroics this season.

"Nearly half their points have come in the last 10 minutes, which is quite significant," said Martinez.

"They're a team that never gives up, that uses all their assets in the squad in a very good way."

Aston Villa, one place and one point above the relegation zone, will be looking to pile on the misery for Arsene Wenger when they visit the Emirates Stadium given Arsenal's defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich over the last seven days in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively.

In the hunt for Champions League football next season, and knowing they need to pounce should Arsenal falter, Everton head to Norwich with boss David Moyes never having lost to the Canaries in his six meetings with the club, winning three and drawing three.

Norwich are also without a win in their last nine league matches, which is perplexing for boss Chris Hughton.

"We went through a spell of 10 games where we didn't lose. Are we doing anything dramatically different to that? No, we are not," said Hughton.

"However that win comes, whether it is by a stylish performance or a fortunate own-goal, it is part and parcel of the game."

Buoyed by their recent 2-0 victory at Liverpool, which ended a run of eight games without a win, West Brom face Sunderland at the Hawthorns where Peter Odemwingie can expect to be on the bench for the first time since he tried to quit the club and join QPR on deadline day.

With that in mind, boss Steve Clarke has urged the fans not to turn on the striker.

Clarke said: "I understand some of the supporters might not want to forgive Peter quickly but, when they go to the stadium, all I ask is they support the team."

Another player linked with QPR in the transfer window was Peter Crouch, but he is now determined to help Stoke finish the season on a high, starting in tomorrow's early kick-off at Fulham.

"We've a chance to finish in the top 10, which is something the club has not managed so far," said Crouch.

"It's a target we're hoping to get. That would be a great achievement."

On Sunday, the big clash sees Chelsea visit Manchester City, whilst at the other end of the table there is a battle between two teams hovering above the drop zone as Newcastle host Southampton.