Lockdown football continues, and for a QPR fan it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier to watch. Yet another struggling team, this time Wigan, yet another 1-0 loss. In these behind closed doors games, QPR have employed a rather unusual tactic. We start by letting the other team completely dominate the opening exchanges of the match. Then we slowly make our way to half time playing sedate sideways passing possession football. We will come out with a bit of effort in the second half, make a few chances and waste subsequently them. That is until about 70 minutes where we stop trying to salvage something from the game and give the points to the opposition. Because why not? Let’s make it a bit interesting at the bottom of the table.
That has been the story of Barnsley, Charlton and now our trip to Wigan. At the weekend we played much better against a much worse team and eked out three points. In the process of said victory we lost our only senior striker, Jordan Hugill, to injury. Yet another loss to a squad already stretched quite thin.
After our trademark slow start Lumley was forced into making a decent save, for the record Lumley looks a much better player without a couple thousand fans screaming at him to “get out of my club”. Wigan got their reward for their efforts on 33 minutes after Kieffer Moore smashed the ball past Lumley, not much he could do to stop it. What was more disappointing was how far Sam Morsy was allowed to carry the ball without any tackles really being put in. Everyone knows the situation that Wigan is in, they’ve had a horrible time recently with the off the field and were clearly up for the fight on the pitch. Something that QPR simply don’t have.
After the goal it was a familiar story for QPR, when we had the ball we didn’t do anything with it. I don’t like the wing back formation never have never will. It didn’t work for Holloway, it didn’t work for McClaren and it won’t work for Warburton. In the first half we were slow on the ball and never went at Wigan with any pace or urgency. I want to see Chair, Bright and Eze charging at the opposition terrifying defences with skill, pace and technique. Instead they didn’t do much apart from pass the ball sideways or back towards the defence and then to Lumley. I don’t understand why that’s acceptable, the goalkeeper should not have so much possession of the ball. The midfield need to take more responsibility and create more chances. Giving the ball back to the keeper stops any counter attack that’s possible and makes it easier for the opposition to defend against this team.
In the second half came the obligatory 20 minutes of effort. A change in formation with Shodipo and the lesser spotted Clarke coming off the bench, stretched Wigan and ever so briefly we were the better side. Shodipo make a fantastic run down the right beating the Wigan left back with a combination of pace and strength. He crossed the ball and after a deflection the ball fell to Chair, who scuffed the shot and made it easy for Marshall to collect in the Wigan goal. That was our best chance of the game and after that the performance petered out.
It was another disappointing performance, and with four to go I hope that come West Brom we don’t need to get a positive result to stay up. Because quite simply we won’t based on what we’ve seen so far. However I will say this, this season has been seriously disrupted by a horrible illness that has changed so much. The fact that QPR have lost a few games after having one of the more enjoyable seasons is not that big a deal. Had the season not stopped I am confident we would have finished of much better. As I said at the start we have lost two key players who were at the end of their contracts, this would negatively affect any team. We still need to pick up at least one more win before the end of the season, hopefully this comes soon.