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Football: QPR focus on Spurs, not race row
Published : 29 Oct 2011 01:17:10
QPR manager Neil Warnock insisted his team were fully focused on Sunday's Premier League clash at Tottenham despite the racism row involving Anton Ferdinand this week.
Warnock believes the scandal has overshadowed his teams win and Ferdinands form at the heart of his defence.
"He is playing very, very well. I'd think he is probably one of the best centre backs in the country at the moment," said Warnock. "I think Anton Ferdinand is a very good player."
Warnock assured supporters the squad have been totally dedicated to preparing for the trip to White Hart Lane.
"I can honestly say it hasn't really been a distraction as we just have to focus on Spurs," he said.
"Yes, the place has been buzzing as you would expect as I don't think teams like QPR win very often against the Chelseas of this world.
"Somebody said it was over 10 years since a promoted club beat Chelsea. We know what kind of achievement it is to beat Chelsea even though the circumstances saw them make one or two mistakes on the day.
"That does not take anything away from what I thought was a wonderful occasion for everybody connected with the club.
"I think it was 15 or 16 months ago we were trying to avoid relegation to League One. Now we're beating Chelsea in the Premier League and it is almost like a dream for everybody."
Warnock will be facing Spurs right-back Kyle Walker, who he brought in on a loan deal last season as his team earned promotion from the Championship.
Scott Parker, who rejected a move to QPR before the season started, is likely to be in the midfield for Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.
In attack, Rafael van der Vaart is keeping Jermain Defoe out of the team as Spurs look to extend their unbeaten league run to seven matches.
Van der Vaart has six goals in all competitions this season.
"He did it last year," said Redknapp. "He came here and scored goals. If you look at his goalscoring record it's incredible really.
"He is just a great finisher. He is cool in front of goal and when the chances come he makes it look so easy.
"He just has that knack of being in the right place at the right time and when he gets there he finishes."
Redknapp has William Gallas back in training, although he is cautious about playing the veteran centre-back after calf injuries ruled him out of action so far this season.
The hosts will be looking to keep Adel Taarabt, a former Spurs player, quiet on his return to White Hart Lane.
"I know him very well," Redknapp said. "He is a real talent, amazing talent but he has his up days and his down days. I am sure on Sunday he will want to have one of his good days and when he is on a good day he can really play."