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Watson won't be replacing Rowly

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 24 August 2010

By Ben Kosky JIM Magilton has confirmed there will be departures to make room for new signing Ben Watson – but Martin Rowlands will not be among them. The QPR captain is nearing fitness again after an ankle injury, but his place in the side appeared to be

By Ben Kosky

JIM Magilton has confirmed there will be departures to make room for new signing Ben Watson - but Martin Rowlands will not be among them.

The QPR captain is nearing fitness again after an ankle injury, but his place in the side appeared to be under threat from the arrival of Watson, who tends to play an extremely similar role in midfield.

But the Rangers boss told the Times: "They can play as a pair, most certainly. No-one is certain to play, Ben Watson included and what this does do is create competition.

"If you want to make a comparison, England have struggled with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who we all recognise are two world-class players. But I think good players rebound off good players.

"Ben's got that capability - he's had a taste of the Premier League and he wants to get back there. We're hoping that Ben will rub off on others and raise the standard, which can only be good for us.

"There's going to have to be some juggling - one or two will have to leave, one for games, another because a new manager comes in with a different view of things.

"It's for their own sake that they've got to play games and get themselves in the shop window, but while they're here we'll make them feel very much part of it. I would never send someone into exile, it's not my style."

Magilton named Matteo Alberti as a player he plans to send out on loan, while Gavin Mahon - who played for the Rs' reserves at Brentford on Tuesday - is thought to be the other imminent departure.

Alberti, 21, made just eight appearances last season after moving to Loftus Road from Chievo Verona, and has not featured under Magilton - since the arrival of Watson, he is competing with 11 other midfielders.

Several other junior members of the squad - Antonio German, Elvijs Putnins, Lee Brown and Joe Oastler - have also been earmarked for loan spells in the near future.

Striker Josh Parker, one of the stars of Rangers' under-18 team last year, was lined up for a loan to a Conference side, but is now out of action after breaking his collarbone.

"As much as we want them around the building, we also want them to get out there, make their mistakes playing for other clubs and come back here the finished article," added Magilton.

"I think someone like Matteo would benefit from going out and playing some games, simply because he's young and keen and wanting to start a professional career.

"I would encourage all young players to go out and experience League or Conference football and recognise that the most important time of their lives is 3pm on a Saturday - that's a very important stepping stone for young pros.

"It'll be down to individuals' performances and other managers' needs, but maybe one or two of the young players that we really like need to do their grounding in the reserves."

As well as Alberti and Mahon, Patrick Agyemang also featured in Tuesday's reserve game, with Alessandro Pellicori on target in a 1-1 draw.


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