Sunderland vs. Queens Park Rangers  0 - 0

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Premier League: Sunderland 0 QPR 0

27 November 2012 22:50

Harry Redknapp's first game in charge of QPR ended in a 0-0 draw with Sunderland in Tuesday night's Premier League clash.

Though the result will not lift QPR from the bottom of the table - no outcome would have - an away point, and a performance palpably injected with increased confidence and togetherness, will offer the club's new manager with plenty to build on as his side enters a string of winnable games in December.

Martin O'Neill's side, meanwhile, remain in the league's lower echelons, having failed to move significantly clearer of the relegation zone.

Redknapp shuffled the pack for his new side, bringing in Esteban Granero, Samba Diakite and Jose Bosingwa back into his starting line-up after Saturday's defeat at Old Trafford.

O'Neill brought in Craig Gardner and Matthew Kilgallon for the hosts, with Jack Colback and the injured John O'Shea making way.

The Northern Irishman's decision to risk fielding Lee Cattermole - a doubt before the game - almost immediately backfired, however, as his captain was forced off with a recurrence of his recent knee injury after only five minutes, replaced in midfield by Colback.

Given that both sides were supposedly lacking in confidence, the game's opening stages were not short of attacking ambition - especially from the visitors.

Armand Traore was rarely shy of making his way forward, while Adel Taarabt's trademark flair was in plentiful supply.

Less surprising, though, was the dearth in technical quality, as Djibril Cisse, Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon all turned half-chances into tame efforts on goal in the first 20 minutes, and neither side appeared capable of retaining meaningful possession through much of the first period.

Tidy ball use from the likes of Granero and Seb Larsson proved largely the exception to a rule of overriding scrappiness.

The latter phase of the half provided a clear chance for each side, however, as Jamie Mackie and Fletcher both saw almost identical chances blocked by onrushing goalkeepers following well-weighted through balls.

A groin injury to Julio Cesar meant that England international Robert Green represented the second forced introduction at the interval, and the substitute was twice employed early on in the second half, smothering a whipped left-wing cross from Adam Johnson before getting down superbly to keep out a powerful close-range header from Fletcher.

Green was again tested by a speculative long-range strike from Larsson, while substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips saw his shot rebound off the legs of Simon Mignolet after a smart late breakaway.

In the end, though, neither side could conjure a chance truly worthy of sealing the three points, though with QPR desperately needing any sort of result and the home side having kept a much-needed clean sheet, a draw is perhaps not the worst compromise for both parties.

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O´Neill hails Redknapp credentials

27 November 2012 15:30

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has welcomed new QPR boss Harry Redknapp back to the Premier League, hailing him 'a very fine manager'.

Redknapp takes charge of the relegation-threatened QPR for the first time against O'Neill's struggling side on Tuesday.

Sunderland have taken just 12 points from as many games, with O'Neill forced to clarify his own position after rumours of his possible resignation spread on Saturday.

Redknapp has been tasked with guiding QPR away from an increasingly desperate situation as the London side look for their first win of the Premier League campaign, and O'Neill is certain the 65-year-old will once again prove himself an astute tactician.

"He (Redknapp) is a very fine manager, he has proved that," O'Neill told reporters.

"The majority of us here in the room might well have thought he was going to be the next England manager, so well had he done at Tottenham Hotspur.

"It wasn't to be, but he is a very fine manager and he will bring all of his experience to bear. He's back in football and he is a talented man."

Focusing on Tuesday's game, O'Neill was keen to emphasise his side's recent upturn in fortunes in front of goal and insisted that Sunderland must take advantage of their home fixtures if they are too build momentum.

"It's up to us to go to the game and play as strongly as we have done in the last number of games," he said.

"We have been able to score six goals in the last three matches, so that's another positive for us.

"The league is very, very tight and very few points separate a lot of the teams at this moment, so as Southampton have proved, two consecutive wins put you right back in proper contention and for us, it is just a case of go and win at home."

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Sessegnon targets vital win for Sunderland

26 November 2012 22:47

Stephane Sessegnon believes Sunderland's meeting with QPR in the Premier League on Tuesday is a 'must-win' clash for the Black Cats.

Sunderland lost 4-2 at home to West Brom on Saturday and have another chance to prove themselves at home, against Harry Redknapp's new side.

Having played seven of their first 11 league games away from home, Sunderland are now in the midst of playing four of five games at the Stadium of Light - and Sessegnon is desperate for victory.

"We must win," he told The Evening Chronicle.

"It's hugely important that we get a win tomorrow because it's another chance for us here.

"We know it's going to be difficult against a team fighting at the bottom of the table, but it's clear we need to get some wins and pick up some points."

Sessegnon is wary of QPR, however, expecting them to be firing on all cylinders in Redknapp's first match in charge.

"It's never easy against a team with a new manager," he said.

"They're a team who wouldn't have expected to be at the bottom at the start of the season.

"They will feel they are capable of much better and I'm sure they'll be boosted by a new manager.

"But, at the same time, we've got to be confident that we can get a victory after the disappointment of Saturday."

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Premier League preview: Sunderland v QPR

26 November 2012 09:28

Harry Redknapp will be in the dugout for the first time as Queens Park Rangers manager when his new team visit Sunderland on Wednesday.

QPR will head to the Stadium of Light in desperate need of their first win of the season after getting off to the worst start in Premier League history, registering just four points from their first 13 games.

Redknapp was in the stands at Old Trafford on Saturday to watch his new side give up three goals in ten second-half minutes to lose to league leaders Manchester United 3-1.

The former Tottenham boss has admitted being tasked to guide QPR to safety will be one of the biggest challenges of his career and he will be determined to get off to the best possible start against the Black Cats.

QPR escaped their trip to Manchester without any fresh injury concerns and will be hoping former Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa, who was ruled out of the game due to illness, can bounce back in time to shore-up Rangers' leaky defence.

Club captain Park Ji Sung was also absent against his former side due to a knee injury but is likely to come back to the squad on Wednesday after returning to training.

Meanwhile, Sunderland will be hoping to recapture the form they showed in their impressive 3-1 win at Fulham last week as they continue to search for consistency in their spluttering 2012/13 season.

Martin O'Neill's side sits two points above the relegation zone in 16th place and were comfortably beaten 4-2 on Saturday against surprise-packets West Bromwich Albion, a defeat which sparked reports O'Neill offered to resign from his managerial position, rumours vehemently denied by the club.

Sunderland have several injury concerns of their own, with Lee Cattermole no certainty to feature after going off in the first half against the Baggies with a knee complaint.

Veteran defender John O'Shea suffered a calf injury in the same game and is also in doubt for Wednesday's match, while striker James McFadden, who injured his hamstring earlier this month, will have to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to the north east.

A win for Sunderland could potentially see them move five points clear of the bottom three and go some way to easing the pressure on the embattled O'Neill, who will be confident his side can deliver the win against their lowly opponents.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25