Queens Park Rangers are rock bottom of the Premier League, and as it stands they are clinging onto top-flight status by the skin of their teeth. It is essential that the dismal first half of the season becomes a distant memory. Picking up as many positive results from now until May is integral.
The January transfer window will provide Harry Redknapp with the perfect antidote; his reputation for being a ‘wheeler and dealer’ will be put into practice once more. He has already acted by bringing striker Loic Remy in from Marseille, sealing the deal right under the noses of fellow relegation strugglers Newcastle United. QPR supporters will hope the Frenchman’s goals will be the difference between safety and relegation.
The end of Mark Hughes’ reign as QPR manager was the turning point. Hughes was in charge of QPR’s opening twelve matches this season. His team couldn’t manage one win, losing eight games and collating only four points. Since Harry Redknapp’s arrival, the ten games he’s managed so far have mustered two wins and five draws. This is a stark improvement in terms of results. However, importantly performances from the players have been far better. Before Redknapp came in, Rangers were dysfunctional and didn’t even look like a team that had a cause. The new man at the helm argued that some players in the squad are ‘overpaid’ and not ‘pulling their weight’. But recently the positive and hardworking attitudes of the players on the pitch have rewarded them with vital points.
The 1-0 away win against European champions Chelsea has probably been the biggest achievement so far this season. This was a great start to the New Year, and since then they’ve earned two hard fought draws against high-flying Tottenham and a well-organised West Ham. Defensively the turn around has been huge, conceding only one goal in the last three League games.
Leaking goals also seems a thing of the past, Harry instilling a philosophy of closing down attacks as a unit. Ryan Nelsen has been a big part of this; he has been a leader and rock at the back for his team. Unfortunately it seems that he’s on his way out, as he’s set to take over as Toronto manager. He will be sorely missed.
QPR are more than capable of staying up this season. Looking at the fixture list, Loftus Road will play host to Norwich, Newcastle, Sunderland and Wigan. Getting results in these games and in the standout away clashes against Aston Villa, Southampton and Reading will be imperative. One player who’ll need to play his part is the mercurial Adel Taarabt, who has the ability to change the outcome of a game in a flash. However, most importantly collective team spirit and the drive of the home support will be needed to get Rangers over the line.