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PUBLISHED: 12:38 27 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 24 August 2010

Andre Bikey of Reading battles for the ball with  Dexter Blackstock of Queens Park Rangers
Coca Cola Championship
Reading v Queens Park Rangers
Credit: Matt Bright

Andre Bikey of Reading battles for the ball with Dexter Blackstock of Queens Park Rangers Coca Cola Championship Reading v Queens Park Rangers Credit: Matt Bright

By Ben Kosky FOR the second time in four days, Rangers travelled to a side boasting a formidable home record and returned with a scoreless draw. Oh, I almost forgot… in between those results, they sacked the manager because the first one was deemed unacce

By Ben Kosky

FOR the second time in four days, Rangers travelled to a side boasting a formidable home record and returned with a scoreless draw.

Oh, I almost forgot... in between those results, they sacked the manager because the first one was deemed unacceptable, yet somehow the second was generally received as a minor triumph.

In fairness, there can be no doubt that Saturday's stalemate seemed more satisfactory because QPR shared a decent amount of possession this time and even enjoyed a few pops at goal.

For all that, they never looked remotely likely to score until the final half-hour, when top scorer Dexter Blackstock - astonishingly relegated to the bench - replaced Samuel Di Carmine up front.

"When I come on, I do my bit. I haven't got to prove anything to anyone," insisted Blackstock later. "It's a squad thing and if you're left out, you can't take it personally."

Noble sentiments and the theory of giving your number one striker a rest is all very reasonable - unless the ONLY available replacement is an on-loan teenager with little experience of the English game.

Di Carmine certainly didn't disgrace himself - he forced the only save from Royals goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann in a drab first half, running onto Matthew Connolly's pass and thumping in a left-foot shot that was pushed around the post.

For Reading, Jimmy Kebe smashed a chance into the side netting, Kevin Doyle curled one just wide of the post and Radek Cerny dived to his left to keep out Noel Hunt's header.

After QPR had survived what looked a reasonable penalty appeal for handball against Gavin Mahon in the first minute of the second half, they did begin to test Hahnemann again.

Swerving efforts from Akos Buzsaky and Lee Cook were gathered at the second attempt, while Blackstock pounced on Andre Bikey's slip and cut the ball back for Daniel Parejo, whose finish was parried by Hahnemann.

Blackstock also had a header tipped wide by the keeper, but the home side looked more dangerous in the closing stages as Bikey headed just wide after a string of corners and Cerny palmed behind a looping header from substitute Kalifa Cisse.

Parejo - whose late tumble in the penalty area was rightly rejected by referee Chris Foy - was entrusted with Rangers' free-kicks and made a poor job of them.

But the fact that he and Di Carmine started - while Damiano Tommasi was named on the bench despite being some way short of match fitness - tells you everything you need to know about who controls team selection at QPR.

Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

QPR: Cerny; Leigertwood, Hall, STEWART*, Connolly; Buzsaky, Rowlands, Mahon, Cook; Parejo (Balanta 86); Di Carmine (Blackstock 60). Subs not used; Cole, Delaney, Tommasi.

Att: 20,571


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