Date: 22nd March 2013 at 3:34am
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This all seems like a very distant memory now .

This all seems like a very distant memory now .

We’ve got an addition to the ‘Loan Watch’ posse this week as goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has joined Walsall on loan for the rest of the season.

The England Under-19 international is set to go straight into the first team to replace Aaron McCarey, who has been recalled by Wolves, and is in line to make his debut for his new club against Hartlepool on Saturday.

Johnstone has done well for the Under-21s again this term but Ben Amos’ return from Hull has increased the goalkeeping options open to Warren Joyce.

“I want the next step of competitive football,” Johnstone told recently. “I think you want to be playing in front of crowds.

“When you get in the first team, you can say: ‘Well, I’ve done this already on loan for half a season or a whole season so it’s not so new to me’. It’s just the way it goes and it helps you improve.”

To last week’s action now, and QPR’s hopes of survival suffered a body blow as Fabio watched the closing stages of the 3-2 defeat by Aston Villa from the sidelines.

The Brazilian full-back was substituted in the 66th minute and looked on as his side conceded a late winner to Christian Benteke but is learning from his stint at Loftus Road and being able to prove his versatility.

“Harry Redknapp is good to work with,” Fabio said.

“I feel I’ve become a better defender. He’s put me on the left wing and right wing as well. I am enjoying it here.”

Fabio was pleased to hear Warren Joyce tell about the high regard that both he and twin brother Rafael are held in at Old Trafford. “It’s very nice,” he admitted. “Maybe in the future, my brother and I will play as wingers [at United]. I don’t know. I’m here now and I want to help QPR get out of the relegation zone.”

Meanwhile, Wigan boosted their hopes of safety with a 2-1 win against Newcastle but Angelo Henriquez didn’t make it off the bench.
Michael Keane’s Leicester were also beaten, 2-1 at Derby, despite a goal from recent Reds trialist Jeff Schlupp. Keane played at centre-back for the Foxes and looked slightly jaded late on as he comes to terms with life as a first-choice player in s promotion-chasing side.
Wilfried Zaha started for Crystal Palace in their 3-0 reverse to Brighton despite reports that he requires canal root surgery on a tooth problem.

Over in Europe, Kiko Macheda came on as a substitute deep into stoppage time as Stuttgart ended a poor run of results with a 2-1 triumph at Eintracht Frankfurt. The Italian is yet to get going in Germany as he has been limited to substitute appearances as the loan threatens to join the list of nightmare experiences for the 21-year-old. Bebe was a 63rd minute substitute in Rio Ave’s 1-0 reverse to Moreirense. Lukw Giverin did not play in Royal Antwerp’s 2-0 loss to Roeselare.

Davide Petrucci and Scott Wootton remain injured but Peterborough picked up a useful 1-0 win at Blackpool and Barnsley enhanced their prospects by beating high-flying Watford by the same scoreline, even if Ryan Tunnicliffe was an unused substitute. Reece Brown did not feature in Ipswich’s 1-0 success against Bolton with Mick McCarthy explaining that he’d already used the maximum of five domestic loanees in his team.

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