Warnock eyes first Cottage win

BY foxsports • September 30, 2011

Rangers make the short trip to Fulham this weekend for the first ever top-flight meeting between the neighbours, who have only squared off 27 times in more than a 100 years. Fifteen of those games have come at Craven Cottage, a stadium Warnock has visited himself eight times as a player and manager. The 62-year-old has never won there but he believes his star-studded Rangers side are ready to change that in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash. Warnock, who led QPR to the npower Championship title last season, said: "Last year, we broke one or two bad omens. "I've definitely never been to Fulham with a team like this." QPR are four points and seven places better off than winless Fulham and Warnock added: "I can't see us not performing. "It'll be a good game because I think Fulham are a good team. "I think they're in a false position as well. "They'll be desperate to get a win over us and, likewise, I'm sure our fans are looking forward to it. "Chelsea coming up as well - it's fabulous for the supporters to have local derbies like that in London." Fulham go into Sunday's game on the back of last night's 2-0 Europa League win at Odense. Cottagers boss Martin Jol has described the competition as an unwelcome distraction but Warnock questioned whether supporters who witnessed their stunning comeback to beat Juventus en route to the 2010 final would feel the same way. "That must have been a fantastic night for their fans," Warnock said. "It's all right saying it's a competition that you're not bothered about. "But I think for Fulham, it's probably brought some of the best memories in the last 40, 50 years to the club. "I know I'll remember that game forever, so goodness knows what the Fulham fans will think about it." Warnock expressed sympathy with the schedule that saw Fulham begin their season in early July, with his own experience of European football slightly less arduous. He added: "I've not been in Europe as a manager, other then when I took the Scarborough lads over to Spain for a few days. "We fixed two games up from this guy who said he knew about these games. "One of their lads had glasses on like Benny Hill's. "I knew then that it wasn't proper football." This season's QPR-Fulham games could be among the last to be played at Craven Cottage and Loftus Road, amid reports of the two clubs sharing a new stadium. Warnock said: "It's only a matter of time before both stadiums are bulldozed, unfortunately, because no clubs playing at the level that they're playing at can sustain that. "So I think it's something that'll be talked about." Meanwhile, Warnock shrugged off the possible loss of enigmatic playmaker Adel Taarabt to the African Nations Cup in January. Taarabt retired from international football after storming out of a team training camp three months ago but he has been recalled for the upcoming qualifier with Tanzania. That could mean he is away for up to a month at the start of next year. Warnock joked: "That'll be a relief for me. January, I'll be ready to lose him for a month. "Go away and have a month with them. Let me have a break and give somebody else an opportunity."

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