Tuesday, 6 November 2012

NOT What the Doctor Ordered

One week on from the Arsenal defeat and the misery continues as QPR's quest to win a game continues. The QPR faithful turned up in slightly lower numbers to another Sky Super Sunday game, as a paltry Reading away following failed to even fill up  the top tier of the School End, giving more R's fans the opportunity to see the Rangers at Loftus Road. After a week of listening to Mark Hughes wax lyrical that he was pleased with the players hard work in training and how the players confidence and morale was high, you could be forgiven for thinking the Reading match would be "the day every thing comes right."  "A must win match" Hughes assured us and "the players know what they've got to do". However, the game turned out to be not what the doctor ordered, as QPR produced a lack lustre and limp performance against an awful Reading side.

An uninspiring 90 minutes of poor football saw QPR recover from yet again conceding a poor early goal whilst the watching TV audience were left with the impression that QPR are prime relegation candidates, as the R's rarely achieved the standard of football we have played this season that has lead to many R's fans feeling confident of survival this year. A better R's starting eleven (ie no SWP or Zamora) failed to show any of the said confidence and looked as if they were unsure of how they should be playing as it took them most of the first half to get going. The back four didn't cope adequately with Readings set pieces and aimless balls punted up field were easily dealt with by Morrison all afternoon. Only the impressive Diakite and Taarabt could hold a claim to have done well today although Granero, Nelson and Mackie did little wrong. The remainder did little of any note with Hoilett disappointing today and Ferdinand showing he is just not good enough for the Premiership.

Suffice to say, although QPR didn't play very well they still could have and should have won this game and this was certainly a valuable two points dropped. What I found more disappointing was Mark Hughes perception and comments on the game. He said Reading "didn't let us play our game." As if they were going to come to Loftus Road and let us do what we want, wise up Hughes. What that tells me is that he didn't have a plan B. Sadly it's starting to look as if Hughes or more importantly his coaching staff are running out of ideas. Surely Hughes is better than this. Personally I am not comfortable with his coaching staff and think this is where our failings mainly lie. I am not a great lover of "suited managers", much preferring "the track suit manager". Could it be that Hughes has delegated a large portion of the coaching and tactics to the likes of Bowen, Niedzwiecki and Hitchcock. Either way I feel that the reasons this group of talented and more that adequate players are under achieving is because of our Manager and his coaching team. I am now so frustrated that I now am left asking this question. Is STABILITY a good enough reason to continue with a seriously under performing management team? What I can tell you is Hughes took the helm at Loftus Road on January 10 2012, since then our Premier league record is W6 D6 L16 with only 2 points gained on our travels. I sincerely hope Hughes can turn this around and Tony Fernandes much coveted stability can be maintained. However, I have yet to see this manager do anything to convince me this is going to happen. Sadly, contrary to his pledge at the end of last season, I think this is going to be a season of much disappointment and frustration unless Hughes and his staff up their game and get this team to achieve their potential. Maybe it would be a little more palatable if Hughes was to show some emotion or even passion to the club, but as I said before I find him somewhat sterile and uncharismatic.

Fernandes is insistent that Hughes is the right man for the job and has been vociferous in the media in his support for his manager. Amit Bhatia has been uncharacteristically quiet of late on all things QPR and has not publicly endorsed our Chairman's faith in Hughes. I wonder if he or his wealthy father in law share Fernandes's view on the manger. Who knows for sure, but if rumours about the Mittals wanting out are true I doubt a difference in opinions will be of any benefit to QPR as a club. I watched Tony Fernades on London Call In on Thursday and he was his usual genuine self and I do like him, in fact I don't know how anyone couldn't like him. I just hope he knows what he is doing and that, should the worst happen, we survive as a football club and hopefully can come back. I do worry that should this happen his relationship with us fans could be damaged if ultimately, Hughes is reasonable for relegating QPR.

A quarter of the season has gone. Mark Hughes should be good enough to keep us in the Premier League. We have players good enough to keep us in the Premier League, but there is now a gap of six points between QPR and safety. If results continue as they have, time will soon begin to run out. So sooner rather than later something has got to change, be it our form or the Manager. The next two games see us at Stoke and then Southampton at home. Six points is a must if Hughes is to abate the poor run of results and achieve the target of seven points from three games including Reading.

Its been painful being an R's fan this season,since right from the off when Swansea hammered us at home, seriously denting all that hope and optimism we had built up in the summer. But like I said before, we are QPR fans, this is our lot. Who would have dared think we'd be in the Premier League now when Warnock took over in 2010. Our time is yet to come this season and I'll be there at the Britannia on Saturday to see if we can get our First win of the season and our first away win in a year. I just hope we can get our game back up to the same levels as at Spurs away. As I write this, there are still two hundred tickets left for our trip to Stoke, which will be on sale on the day if still available. Sometimes things happen when you least expect them and being a QPR supporter, you just can't help thinking this is going to be the game. God I hope so. Come on you R's.

The Bush Ranger

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