There’s a lot of work ahead, admits new QPR boss

New Queens Park Rangers boss Steve McClaren knows he must get up to speed after returning to Loftus Road five years on.

The former England manager signed a two-year deal at Loftus Road to replace Ian Holloway in the hotseat.

McClaren had a three-month coaching role at the club alongside Harry Redknapp in 2013, and believes QPR have made significant progress since those days.

McClaren said: “I remember the first day I came through the door and three senior players – I won’t name them – were on the treatment table.

“I said, ‘I’ve come here to coach you’. They said, ‘When does the [transfer] window] close?’ and I said, ‘It closes on August 1’.

“They said, ‘Well, if we’re still here on August 1 we might come out and do some training with you’.

“Immediately I realised that, wow, they were in big trouble. But credit to Harry in that season especially, he got rid of them and very fortunately he won in the play-off final and got them into the Premier League.

“So he did a good job and the club has progressed, I think, every year since.”

McClaren would move to Derby County as manager in September 2013.

He took them to the Championship’s play-off final where they lost 1-0 to Redknapp’s men at Wembley.

The 57-year-old still belives he benefited from his short stint in west London.

McClaren added: “Certainly I went from here straight to Derby and obviously we met in the play-off final, and unfortunately the best team lost.

“So I think the initial first three months were perfect for me. I got a feel for the club, I got a feel for the fans, and I’ve followed their fortunes ever since and kept in touch with Tony Fernandes [QPR’s co-owner].

“A lot has changed but I’m looking forward to getting started.”

QPR must also navigate the transfer market after losing a three-year battle over allegedly breaching Financial Fair Play.

The club was ordered to pay a world-record £40 million fine following the decision last October.

However, McClaren is wary about planning too soon.

When asked about the situation, he said: “That’s something I know from the outside.

“Everybody knows from the outside but the reality on the inside [is unclear], I’m sure I’ll find out in the next few days after speaking with Les [Ferdinand, QPR’s director of football] and one or two on the board.

“We’ll find out exactly what situation we’re in. It’s difficult to establish targets, to establish names, what you’re going to do, who you’re going to bring in, what kind of players, what’s this, what’s that.

“But at the present moment I’m taking my time establishing exactly where QPR is because, in my mind, I’m still five years ago.

“I have to catch-up and get up to speed with where they are.”

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