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Long ball isn't Dowie want to play

PUBLISHED: 12:49 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:16 24 August 2010

COCA COLA CHAMPIONSHIP 2007/2008
QUEENS PARK RANGERS V BARNSLEY 
PHOTO'S BY GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS
DATE: 19/01/2008.
TEL: 07831-396-923

QPR'S  MIKELE LEIGERTWOOD ON THE BALL .

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COCA COLA CHAMPIONSHIP 2007/2008 QUEENS PARK RANGERS V BARNSLEY PHOTO'S BY GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS DATE: 19/01/2008. TEL: 07831-396-923 QPR'S MIKELE LEIGERTWOOD ON THE BALL . .

GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS

By Ben Kosky MIKELE Leigertwood has dismissed any notion that QPR could be transformed into a long-ball team under new boss Iain Dowie. Dowie s previous teams have sometimes picked up a reputation for direct football, but the robust midfielder, who played

By Ben Kosky

MIKELE Leigertwood has dismissed any notion that QPR could be transformed into a long-ball team under new boss Iain Dowie.

Dowie's previous teams have sometimes picked up a reputation for direct football, but the robust midfielder, who played in his promotion-winning Crystal Palace side a few years ago, believes that label is misplaced.

"We're certainly not going to be a predictable Championship team next season," Leigertwood assured the Times.

"The owners are going to want results straight away and some people might say that's a stumbling block, that everyone will be expecting us to turn teams over every week.

"I know Iain Dowie's going to bring a hard work ethic and he'll want us to be hard to beat - passing the ball around but mixing it as well. People want to see fast and attractive football.

"I have to say, he never once said to me at Palace 'kick it long or punt it' or anything like that. You can only work with what you've got and we've got a lot of flair players here already."

Dowie paid Wimbledon £150,000 for Leigertwood in February 2004 and the versatile north Londoner played a key role as unfancied Palace burst into the Premier League.

The Eagles' astonishing transformation from relegation candidates to play-off winners that season has been generally viewed ever since as the benchmark for upwardly mobile Championship clubs.

Rangers, of course, have made no secret of their desire to be described in that way and Dowie's motivational skills can, according to Leigertwood, bring that change about.

"He came in at a crucial time and got everybody working for each other and believing in themselves, firing to their full potential," Leigertwood recalled.

"He'll be looking to do the same at QPR. We used to do a lot of video work and stuff like that - and if I was going to be critical, perhaps we'd sometimes over-analyse things.

"But that's Iain Dowie's style and if he feels something isn't right, he'll change it. We got on really well when I worked with him before and I think that should continue."

A seamless transition, ideally - and that is what the QPR squad need after the unexpected departure of Luigi de Canio, which came just a few days after the players had kicked their final ball last season.

"I was shocked really," Leigertwood admitted. "The way he was talking, it sounded as if he was going to be here next season and you don't really know what's gone on.

"But it was important to get the situation sorted out quickly. We've already signed a few players, so clearly there's going to be no messing about.

"Iain Dowie's got Championship experience and Premier League experience as well, so I've no doubt that will stand us in good stead next season.


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