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Birch in line to fill the breach

PUBLISHED: 14:37 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:48 24 August 2010

By Dave McIntyre Former QPR player Marc Bircham could be asked to take charge of the team for Monday night s game at West Brom following the suspension of Jim Magilton. Manager Magilton has been told to stay away from the club, whose board are discussing

By Dave McIntyre

Former QPR player Marc Bircham could be asked to take charge of the team for Monday night's game at West Brom following the suspension of Jim Magilton.

Manager Magilton has been told to stay away from the club, whose board are discussing his future following a run of poor results and an incident after this week's 3-1 defeat against Watford.

Magilton was involved in an angry exchange with midfielder Akos Buzsaky, which prompted a furious reaction from a number of other Rangers players.

Assistant manager John Gorman and coach Keith Ryan have both indicated that they are not willing to take caretaker charge in his absence.

Bircham, 31, made over 150 league appearances for QPR and retired from playing last year following persistent injury problems.

He is currently a youth coach at Loftus Road, working with Steve Gallen - brother of ex-R's forward Kevin Gallen and himself a former QPR youth player.

Gareth Ainsworth, who has had two spells as caretaker manager, is currently on loan at League One club Wycombe.

Magilton, 40, was appointed in the summer after QPR's players indicated that they wanted an English-speaking boss with Championship experience.

Approaches were made for a number of other managers before Magilton, who had recently been sacked by Ipswich, was handed the reins.

Former Reading boss Steve Coppell was among them but made it clear he wanted to take a break from football, while ex-West Ham manager Alan Curbishley was not interested.

Other managers considered were with other clubs, including Sheffield United's Kevin Blackwell, Coventry's Chris Coleman and controversial Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock.

The club also considered re-appointing former coach Luigi De Canio, with Ainsworth effectively acting as joint manager alongside the Italian.

De Canio left QPR in May 2008 after seven months at the club and was a strong contender for the job before Magilton was eventually installed on a two-year contract, pipping former Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd - now in charge at Colchester - to the job.

After a troubled start, Magilton guided Rangers into the top six with a blistering run in October.

But recent results have been disappointing, and the defeat at Watford followed a 5-1 mauling at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday.


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