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Nervous, but quietly confident - 14/05/2003

Tonight’s game is going to be a very nerve racking occasion. A good away draw in the first leg brings Oldham to Loftus Road with QPR possibly favourites to go through. However, if you’ve noticed Oldham’s away record this season you’ll realise that tonight is going to a really tough. Not surprisingly the ground is going to be full – as of yesterday there were only 100 tickets left – and I’m hoping for a really noisy crowd to back 'the super hoops'. I’m actually covering the game for BBC 5 Live, so I’ll have to work hard to keep my bias under control and present a neutral perspective – not an easy task!!

The downside to the creditable away performance at Boundary Park was the sending off of Richard Langley. I’m disappointed for the club and also for the guy himself. He was a young player coming through the ranks when I was at the club and I spent a fair bit of time with him. He’s got a head on his shoulders, he’s prepared to listen and can go a long way in the game. I used to say to him that if he could get a few goals each season it would round off his game – and this term he’s done that scoring 9 or 10 goals. If we do get promotion I feel he’ll be a player that will benefit. It’ll suit his game and give him more time to use his skill. The club appealed against the sending off decision but it’s unfortunately it's been unsuccessful, let's just hope the boys can do it without Richard. Iain Holloway will have to shuffle the pack, but he’s a number of options open to him with Carlisle, Puckett, and Gallon offering him plenty of alternatives. I’m sure he’ll make the right choice.

Iain Dowie has done very well in Lancashire, I spoke to him last week and he was telling me that if successful, he’d have a great deal of sympathy for QPR. He enjoyed his time in West London and looks back here with happy memories. One thing’s for sure, he’ll be doing all he can to upset his old club tonight and it should be a game played in a great atmosphere. It’s been sometime since we’ve had a game of this importance and let’s hope we get the result!

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