Category Archives: Queens Park Rangers

Plenty to play for in the Championship on midweek Wednesday

For the first time ever the final round of fixtures in the Championship will be completed midweek on a Wednesday evening.

Although Leeds United have been confirmed as champions, there is still a scrap for the one other automatic promotion spot.

West Brom, Brentford and their London rivals Fulham are the three sides in contention for the one place available.

The Baggies go into the final game only a point clear of Brentford and Fulham a further point behind.

On paper it looks likely that all three sides could win their final match, but as we know on the final day of the regular season there is always many surprises.

Brentford and Fulham will be praying that fellow London side QPR will be able to do them a favour by winning at The Hawthornes. West Brom’s form has slipped of late after not winning for three games. Despite a 4-3 victory against Millwall, Rangers form after lockdown has been poor with the club winning just twice in their last eight games.

Brentford, heading in to their final game looked the likely side who would go up with Leeds after a scintillating run of form which has seen the Bees win eight games in a row before suffering a setback with a 1-0 defeat against Stoke at the weekend.

The visitors to Griffin park are Barnsley who start the day one of the bottom of the table and two points from safety. The Tykes travel to London on the back of a fine victory at the weekend over Nottingham Forest. They know on Saturday they must win and hope other results go their way for them to be playing Championship football again next season.

Fulham make the long trip to Wigan on Wednesday and will be facing a resurgent Wigan side who are unbeaten in their last four matches. The Latics received  news this week that the EFL have confirmed that Wigan will have their twelve point deduction handed out after Wednesday nights final round of matches- provided the Latics appeal against the decision, due to be heard before 27th July, isn’t upheld.

In terms of the play-off picture it is much clearer with Forest  already guaranteed a play-off spot ,baring a 5 goal swing with Swansea,  either Cardiff or Swansea will join them .

Cardiff entertain Hull City at the Cardiff City Stadium with Swansea facing the trip to the Madjeski Stadium to face Reading.

As it stands The Swans will have to beat Reading and hope struggling Hull can beat Cardiff. A tough ask for the Tigers who are bottom of the table. However, if they could pull of a shock it would put pressure of the other sides facing the drop along with Barnsley.  Both Luton and Charlton are the two sides in most trouble, with Middlesbrough and Birmingham virtually safe.

The Hatters are at home to Blackburn Rovers, whilst Charlton travel to Leeds. Luton have hit good form of late with the Hatters unbeaten in their last four including a massive victory over Hull City on Saturday.

Charlton travel up to Yorkshire without a win in their last six games and won’t enjoy playing the newly crowned champions.

So, plenty for most teams to play for in the most competitive league in the world. Come around 9.30 on Wednesday evening we will have a clearer picture, with plenty of nails being chewed by nervous fans around the country.

Match preview: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN VS LEEDS UNITED

On the back of two polar opposite results at the weekend, will form go out the window in the West Yorkshire derby?

With Leeds United undoubtedly being the most successful West Yorkshire team so far this season it would be expected they would take all three points from The John Smiths stadium in the early kick off on Saturday. However, the last two contests between the two teams, all be it two seasons ago, saw bragging rights sway in Huddersfield’s direction with a 1-0 win at Elland Road and a 2-1 score line on home turf.

Leeds will be heading into the game on the back of an emphatic 4-0 win against Middlesbrough which continued an unbeaten run of eight games. Arguably Leeds’ strongest team in recent years, accompanied with a highly praised manager in Marcelo Bielsa has seen them excel through the season and sit second in the table closely behind West Bromich Albion.

However, a short trip down the M62 tells a much different story. Huddersfield have not had the most comfortable of returns to the Championship, recording just four wins since August but had seemed to find some form under new boss Danny Cowley in recent weeks. The Terriers were put to shame with a 5-2 defeat at Ashton Gate on Saturday, a place Huddersfield have never enjoyed visiting, which may dampen wishes of 3 points against their closest rivals on the 7th.

See the source image
Last time out; Michael Hefele secures a Terrier’s victory with last minute winner in an ugly derby game.

Due to the important stake of bragging rights surrounding the game, both sets of supporters will be reliant on their star players turning up. For the Lily Whites, Patrick Bamford will be who they are looking out for to make an impact, just as he has done in recent weeks with 7 goals to his name this season. With a misshapen Huddersfield defence of late, with both first choice full backs in Jaden Brown and Danny Simpson out with injury, it could be an area for Leeds to take advantage. Equally, Huddersfield with be hopeful prolific striker Karlan Grant maintains his impressive goal scoring record for the season, Grant is argued for be Town’s most important player this season and someone they do not want to let go of.

If anything is to go off the last outing against the two sides, the game is set to be a physical, highly fought and possibly ugly. However a game that will surely be enjoyed by both sides and entertaining for the neutral.

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

QPR: Mclaren is Sacked!

Queens Park Rangers have today sacked, their manager and the Ex England Coach, Steve McClaren, after less than a year in Charge

The reason has been given, that as QPR are in a period of transistion and look to the future, given the results they have had lately, the time is right to evaluate where they are

On appointing McClaren, QPR stated that he was the right coach to lead the club forward in their transitional focus, especially as they had been working under financial restrictions imposed for breaches of the Financial Fair Play regulations and this has had major implications on recruitment of players into the club.

McClarens record of 16 wins from 46, makes grim reading, but when you consider the implications of the financial fair play breaches, McClaren was considered a good fit for the coaches posistion, with his record of bringing players through.

So, who might QPR turn to now, to get them out of where they are.

What are the boards ambitions?

Current assistant John Eustace has been placed in temporary charge while the search for a successor goes on.

There are plenty of early runners for the job, but these are just 3 candiates who QPR could turn too.

Alan Pardew, currently out of work since being sacked at West Brom.

Chris Powell, who has recently left Southend in League 1 could be a strong contender given his previous links to London with Charlton.

Darren Moore, who like Pardew has recently been sacked by West Brom.

Now while non of these are known as serial trophy winning bosses, all have worked at clubs where there have been difficult conditions to coach under, most notably Pardew who was coach at Newcastle and did an outstanding job there, winning manager of the year once.

Equally Moore steadied a rock ship at West Brom and guided them to the play off posistions before the board became impatient with him.

Chris Powell, would welcome the opportunity to move up a level and turn the Hoops fortunes around.

So they are 3 top draw candidates who could be open to the posistion.

And though not in the same draw ( yet)  as these 3 guys don’t rule out Gary Rowett who recently parted with company with Stoke as an outside contender, though his previous roles have all been Midlands based and it is thought he would prefer to stay that way.

Who would your suggested candidate be?

Should Steve McClaren be shown the door at Loftus Road?

Go back to end of last season and QPR had just announced that English hero Steve McClaren would be taking over as manager at Loftus Road. I wasn’t too impressed with the decision and thought that the club were asking for trouble by appointing the former England manager. 

QPR started this season in dismal form by losing their opening five matches in the league including a 7-1 thrashing at home to West Brom. Many called for McClarens head but to be fair to the boss he turned things around with a run of fine performances that saw the London side in 7thplace at the end of October just one point off the play-off places. 

That’s about as good as it got for the Loftus Road faithful this season as they have only picked up 13 points since then and find themselves just nine points off the relegation places. To make matters worse they have failed to win since boxing day and have beaten a club record with a run of seven league losses in a row following their defeat at Middlesbrough at the weekend. Questions are being asked of Steve McClaren.

Should QPR sack Steve McClaren

At this moment in time I would have to say no. QPR for me are too good to go down and Steve is more than capable of keeping them up regardless of the current run of form. However, do I think that McClaren should be kept on for next season? The short answer again is no. Steve McClaren has had limited success since his ill-fated tenure as England manager and has struggled to shake off the stigma surrounding that and it’s been eleven years since we crashed out of the Euro qualifying to Croatia. 

For stability the club could stick with their gaffer until the end of the season and then opt to get rid and start again in order to lay fresh foundations and have a summer of planning. To get in a new manager now without a transfer window could have the wrong effect on the club and with QPR relatively safe from relegation they are in no rush to jump into an appointment. 

That being said who could QPR go for if they were to sack Steve McClaren and do you think they should? Let us know in the comments below.