On Sunday, we face an old friend of ours in Neil Warnock, who has recently taken the helm at Middlesbrough from Jonathan Woodgate who was dismissed after a 3-0 thrashing to Swansea on the return of the season. Neil Warnock provided us with one of the best seasons as a QPR fan and has got plenty of experience in his Middlesbrough team; George Friend and Asombalonga to name a few. They also have some great youth coming through like Lewis Wing, who can shoot from 30-40 yards and Marcus Tavernier who you could compare to our Bright.
Middlesbrough under Warnock have been really compact defensively. After a deserved 2-0 win over Stoke, a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Hull left them feeling hard done by. However, the performances in both games show improvement and signs of Warnock influence. Set pieces, individual player improvement and a strong defence show this. QPR on the other hand, have lost 3 out of 3 since the return of the season. Basic errors in terms of a goalkeeping mistake and ‘not closing down your man’ cost us points against Fulham and that is unacceptable. After a strong 20 minutes in the first half, we struggled to be a threat. 2 good chances in the 90 plus minute mark still wasn’t enough to get a draw.
We haven’t won at the Riverside since 2014 with Zamora scoring that infamous goal. Maybe now with no crowd, we could finally pick up those 3 points at the Riverside. Earlier this season, we drew 2-2 with Middlesbrough at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium with more basic defensive errors allowing them to get a much needed draw in their fight for relegation. Which brings me to this; we are playing another team fighting for their Championship status. Although they are fighting and scrapping for their lives, we have to pick up points here or we too could fall soon into that battle. With tough games against Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday to come, this game could get our season back underway. I couldn’t care less if its a controversial penalty at the end which snatches it, but to see another 3 points added to our current total is what every QPR fan wants.
I expect to see changes in the team on Sunday, with Warburton hinting that Jack Clarke could get time on the pitch, which I have wanted for quite a bit of time. Personally , I would go 4-1-4-1 with Kelly in goal , Kane, Cameron, Barbet, Manning in defence , Ball sitting deep In midfield, Chair , Eze in front of that, Bright and Jack out wide with Jordan Hugill up front.
Just to conclude, people who want Warburton out need to have a good look at themselves. What he has done with this team is incredible. With no budget and the football he has tried to install in our team has been excellent. If we could spend money, we would be challenging in the playoffs, and we nearly did and we still can. Give the man some slack and get behind him and the team. Negativity, will make it worse, look at Arsenal and West Ham! So, let’s support out team and get those 3 long awaited points.
Come On You R’ssss
Written by Conor McCrudden