Clive Whittingham - Loft For Words
Expectations for Season
We’ve come through a painful period of house cleaning after the ruinous Hughes/Redknapp years. For a while now the ambition has just been to compete in this Championship while hacking the wage bill down. The big money sale of Ebere Eze and a very strong end to last season suggests we may be nearer the end of that process than the beginning now and for the first time in a while there is optimism and expectation around the QPR fan base as the new season approaches.
The return of Charlie Austin helped spark our turnaround last season and his permanent capture against all expectations has got everybody really excited. He’s obviously not the player he was in his first spell, but he’s pure goals, fits really well at QPR, is loved by the supporters and seemed to have a real galvanising effect on the team last year.
We’ve got a number of very promising players in their early 20s who will be looking to kick on this season and be our next big money departure which can then enable us to reinvest and grow again, as Eze did. Ilias Chair, Chris Willock and Rob Dickie probably head that queue at the moment.
What transfers are needed?
We won 15 games in the second half of last season, only Watford and Norwich managed more. As well as the arrival of Austin, Jordy De Wijs and Sam Field, and a switch to the back three, the performances of Stefan Johansen on loan from Fulham in midfield were absolutely pivotal in this. He’s got a year left at Craven Cottage, wants to come back, but their managerial situation is holding things up. If we get that over the line I think belief will really start to soar.
Currently I’d say top ten. Sign Johansen permanently and pick up where we left off in May and even my naturally pessimistic nature would have to concede we’ve got a hell of a chance given the varying degrees of crisis state at a lot of other clubs in this league at the moment.
Promoted & Relegated
Too early to call in a tight league. Relegated will be Derby and one of the promoted clubs. Promotion...no idea!
Contributed by: Clive Whittingham
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