Friday Football Feature: QPR face a pivotal month if they are to survive


Rangers should survive this league with Mark Hughes and their mixture of youth and experience.


By Luke Gardener

Queens Park Rangers face a crucial five matches in November which could save their season and the job of Mark Hughes. Rangers face huge clashes at Loftus Road against Southampton and Reading respectively. Get six points and who knows how high QPR could finish this season?

So far Hughes’ team have had a slow and tricky start. They sit bottom of the table with just three points from nine games and have shipped 18 goals in the process. They have had problems with discipline with Stephane Mbia and Samba Diakite being sent off in recent games.

However the signs are that Rangers are finally gelling as a team and there have been encouraging signs in their previous two league matches against Arsenal and Everton. Their organisation in defence almost earned them a point against the Gunners while they should have probably earned all three against the Toffees a week earlier.

It was always going to take time for QPR to find their feet with an almost entire new squad. Now they are, and certain acquisitions such as Julio Cesar in goal and Esteban Granero in midfield have been particularly impressive over recent weeks.

As well as facing Reading and Southampton the team owned by Tony Fernandes face away trips to Stoke and Sunderland, both teams that have failed to prove spectacular at home so far. The one game Hughes might write off is against Manchester United on November 24 at Old Trafford.

December looks equally favourable for QPR and of the six matches they will play they would look at the fixture list and think they could get something out of every match. Hughes may well be right when he insists he is not losing any sleep over the current predicament his team find themselves in.

With the rocky period at QPR over the last few years with multiple managers and multiple owners it seems that they may finally be achieving some stability with staff, owner and players. Rangers must not panic and if they stick with Hughes, who has more than enough experience to keep them in the premier league, they will reap the rewards.

Captain Ji-Sung Park has a lot to prove and has been disappointing so far this season but there is no doubting his fantastic work ethic. The biggest area where QPR must improve is in front of goal. So far this season Adel Taraabt has looked most dangerous but with Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse part of the squad surely it is just a matter of time before they start scoring for fun.

Whatever happens this Sunday when QPR face Reading at Loftus Road fans must stick with their club. With the combination of youth and experience Rangers possess they should have more than enough to survive in this highly competitive league.

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