Taarabt completes magnificent seven for QPR
By Ben Kosky FANS favourite Adel Taarabt will pull on a QPR shirt again when the Rs begin their Championship campaign against Barnsley on Saturday. Rangers boss Neil Warnock finally secured the signing of the Spurs playmaker on Thursday morning in a deal
By Ben Kosky
FANS' favourite Adel Taarabt will pull on a QPR shirt again when the Rs begin their Championship campaign against Barnsley on Saturday.
Rangers boss Neil Warnock finally secured the signing of the Spurs playmaker on Thursday morning in a deal which could eventually cost the club around �1m.
Taarabt became the Rs' seventh signing this summer - and Warnock's assistant Mick Jones confirmed to the Times that the club were also in talks with two other players.
Jones feels Rangers have nothing to fear when the tussle for promotion to the Premier League gets under way, in what promises to be the most open Championship title race for years.
"You could pick 12 clubs whose realistic ambition is to get promoted, either automatically or through the play-offs and my outlook is we've got as good a chance as anyone," Jones observed.
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"Steve Coppell's going to do well at Bristol City - he should be a Premier League manager, in my opinion. Ipswich will do better than last year, so will Derby and Sheffield United.
"Coventry and Leicester should have good seasons, Nottingham Forest will be odds-on, Leeds United will be a force to be reckoned with and the clubs coming down will always have a chance.
"Portsmouth will be interesting, but Steve Cotterill's got a good record, then there's Burnley, Cardiff, Middlesbrough - they've got to do well this time.
"I like Reading - I saw them recently and they've carried on as they finished last season. I think it's a far more interesting league than the Premier League, where only a few teams can win it."
Whether Rangers finalise the Taarabt deal before the weekend or not, there should be debuts for several other recent arrivals against the Tykes - Paddy Kenny, Shaun Derry, Jamie Mackie, Clint Hill and Bradley Orr.
Striker Leon Clarke could feature as well, although he is still recovering from a thigh strain, but club captain Martin Rowlands is not yet ready to rejoin the fray.
"Clarke is getting better by the minute, rather than the day," added Jones. "Martin Rowlands is making good progress as well, but you've got to be careful with long-term injuries.
"We have to trust [physio] Nigel Cox and his staff - they'll know when a player's ready. But I think in a couple of weeks Martin should be at least training with the first-team squad."
Apart from Rowlands and Lee Cook, who has begun strengthening work on his knee, Rangers have a clean bill of health for Saturday, although defender Peter Ramage is serving a suspension.