Are things really improving at QPR?

Speaking from experience, it has never been easy supporting QPR.

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While fans of other football clubs may look at this and feel the same, not many have had to deal with a constant revolving door of playing and coaching staff, FA inquiries AND Financial Fair Play hearings. Since suffering a second relegation in three years from the Premier League in 2015, Chris Ramsey, Neil Warnock, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Ian Holloway have all attempted to steady the ship and stabilise, righting the wrongs from the last five years and learning the lessons in the process.

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Following last nights disappointing 2-1 home West London Derby defeat to Fulham in the Championship, I take a look at the current squad, the season so far, and whether or not the club is moving forward.

After the disappointing end to last season, it would be fair to say that QPR has made a decent start to the season, despite the tough opening set of fixtures. It was a positive looking pre-season as well for the R’s, something that has been hard to come by in recent years. ‘Ollie’ made some shrewd business in August, bringing in Barnsley’s talisman Josh Scowen, Blackpool’s Bright Osayi-Samuel and Exeter’s David Wheeler. Adding young, hungry, home-grown players seems to have become a theme for QPR under Holloway and for the most part of this season, it seems to be working. Josh Scowen, Luke Freeman and Massimo Luongo have formed a superb partnership together in the heart of the Rangers engine room, a tough-tackling, pacy trio that has made lives of the opposition at Loftus Road very difficult indeed. Freeman has quickly made himself a fan favourite with his pace and creativity, attributes that the West London club has definitely lacked in the last five years.

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Scowen, a self-dubbed ‘little rat’, consistently makes his presence known, week in, week out with his crunching tackles and fine passing. Massimo Luongo has been a permanent fixture in the QPR starting XI since his signing from Swindon Town in 2015. A proper Paul Scholes-esque player, he is a firm favourite in W12. In addition, the signings of youngsters David Wheeler and Bright Osayi-Samuel from lower league outfits, of whom the former has already scored once, have shown Ollie’s belief in youth and rebuilding.

The season so far has given us QPR fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic, but the last five games have really called those reasons into question. The Hoops overpowered Reading 2-0 at home on opening weekend, sparking a run of three home wins in a row with fast starters Ipswich Town and newly relegated Hull City amongst the victims.

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The away form however, has been a cause for concern for the QPR faithful. Defeats on the road at Middlesbrough, Norwich City and pace-setting Cardiff City, coupled with draws in Yorkshire against Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley mean QPR are winless away from home. Recently home fans have been disgruntled in home games as those three wins on the spin have turned to no win in three at Loftus Road and no win in five overall. Poor performances in home draws against Millwall and Burton Albion were met with a 2-1 defeat to West London rivals Fulham at home last night. It’s fair to say the defence has been a huge problem in recent weeks with many injuries suffered in that particular area and, while you can’t condemn the spirit shown by the team this season, there is a lot of work to be done before QPR can be a top Championship outfit once again.

Where do you think QPR will finish this season? Write your prediction in the comments below!

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