Belfast Telegraph

Warnock praise for Ferdinand

QPR manager Neil Warnock praised the character and performance of Anton Ferdinand despite seeing his team go down 3-1 at Tottenham.

Last week Ferdinand was the subject of an alleged racial slur by John Terry in QPR's 1-0 win over Chelsea at Loftus Road. It was announced on Tuesday that Terry, who denies the allegations, will be the subject of a Football Association (FA) investigation into the claims, and Ferdinand has been the focus of intense media scrutiny this week as a result.

Warnock deemed the 26-year-old to be psychologically ready to play in the derby at White Hart Lane, which Rangers lost thanks to a Rafael van der Vaart strike and a brace from Gareth Bale. He said: "I thought he (Ferdinand) was head and shoulders above everyone else - the man of the match."

He added: "I don't think he made a mistake. He hasn't put a foot wrong since he came here. He definitely has the potential to play at the top level and England.

"It was a great performance from him. Did I think that (the race row) affected Ferdinand? Not at all. He was absolutely magnificent. It doesn't affect us at all. It speaks volumes about his character, absolutely."

The FA will continue their investigation into the race row this week, but Warnock does not envisage the saga affecting his team's efforts on the pitch.

"We have moved on already," the Rangers boss said. "It's not our problem. I don't see the time frame of it all really."

Jay Bothroyd frayed the home fans' nerves with 28 minutes left by nodding past Brad Friedel, but Bale sealed the win soon after with a brilliant curling shot that came after a neat exchange with Aaron Lennon on the edge of the box. Spurs played some of their best football of the season, according to boss Harry Redknapp.

"In the first half we were fantastic, the way that we shifted the ball, the movement was great," he said. "I could hear them [QPR] arguing in their dressing room and it was all kicking off at half-time.

"I thought that they would have a go second half and they did, but they only pulled it back to 2-1 and Bale took a great goal to finish them off."


From Belfast Telegraph