Harford loses his job at QPR

THE grass is not always greener on the other side. Just ask Mick Harford!An unlucky Harford is perhaps questioning the wisdom of his summer move from Colchester United to QPR after losing his job yesterday.

By Carl Marston

THE grass is not always greener on the other side. Just ask Mick Harford!

An unlucky Harford is perhaps questioning the wisdom of his summer move from Colchester United to QPR after losing his job yesterday.

QPR have appointed former Napoli and Siena boss Luigi De Canio as their new first-team coach, prompting the immediate departure of Harford. It brings a close to a whirlwind last four months.


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Following a season of unprecedented success at Layer Road last season, as the No. 2 to Geraint Williams, Harford switched to Loftus Road to become John Gregory's assistant in June.

But now the 48-year-old is on the look-out for a new job, although he has already been linked with a coaching role at Stockport County.

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Harford was appointed caretaker manager following Gregory's departure on October 1, and despite suffering a 4-2 defeat at his old club Colchester in his first match in charge, he then masterminded QPR's climb off the bottom of the table. In fact, Rangers secured two wins and two draws in his other four matches at the helm.

Ironically, his last act as QPR's temporary boss was to lead his team to a 1-0 victory at promotion favourites Charlton on Saturday. He was told of his fate that same evening.

The incoming new owners at QPR are a group fronted by Formula One magnates Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone, and they were keen to appoint an Italian, hence the arrival of De Canio.

Chairman Gianni Paladini revealed yesterday that Harford had been asked to stay on at Loftus Road.

He said: “We offered Mick Harford a role within the new set-up and we're disappointed that he turned it down. Mick has done a fantastic job and his contribution will never be forgotten.”

Harford had a sense of foreboding, even after watching his side claim only their second win of the season at Charlton to clamber above Norwich in the table.

“I've got a meeting with the chairman tonight and we'll discuss things from there. I'm just told to get on with the job, and I've not got involved in the politics,” admitted Harford in the post-match press conference at The Valley.

“I came here to work with John Gregory, and I enjoy the role as caretaker manager, but it's something (losing your job) that I'll have to deal with if and when it comes. Over the last four or five games the players have responded magnificently.”

Harford's main reason for leaving the U's last summer was to cut down on his day-to-day travelling, which was having an adverse effect on a serious back problem.

The ex-England and Luton centre-forward faced a round trip of 140 miles from his home to Layer Road and back. That was drastically reduced by his switch to west London.

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