QPR adrift and in a mess after worst-ever start

It is still very much early days in the Championship, but things aren’t looking good for The Rs. The Offside Rule’s resident QPR fan Flo Lloyd-Hughes vents her frustration over Steve McClaren’s start to the season, with the team rooted to the bottom of the table.

Forty-five minutes is quite a long time in football. Those minutes can go by in a flash or they can tick past excruciatingly slowly. Unfortunately for the Loftus Road faithful, on Saturday it was the latter, as QPR managed to concede six goals against West Bromwich Albion in the second half at the Hawthorns.

In the second half, West Brom averaged a goal every seven and a half minutes. For those QPR fans that paid around £20 to be there, it was very painful.

Embed from Getty ImagesSaturday’s embarrassing display was quickly followed by a dismal 3-0 loss at home to Bristol City.

The trouble on the pitch can be added to the list of worrying happenings at Loftus Road this season.

Over the summer, the club lost several key players, with only one like-for-like replacement coming in.

New manager Steve McClaren has come in with grand ideas of playing it out from the back and implementing possession football, but that’s very difficult to instil on a low to mid-table Championship side.

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QPR’s back four is now without its long-standing leader Nedum Onuoha, who left at the end of last season, and as a result it looks significantly lost and disorganised.

Goalkeeper Alex Smithies was sold to Cardiff and his replacement, Matt Ingram, has had a dreadful start to the season.

Rangers are strapped for cash following a few years of bad spending and a recently agreed £42million Financial Fair Play settlement.

McClaren made it clear at the start of the transfer window that he was focusing on the free transfer and loan market. However, so far, only Angel Rangel, the 35-year-old former Swansea defender, has come in on a short-term contract.

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Many managers, including former QPR man Neil Warnock, have spoken of their dislike for loan the market because when the going gets tough those players often retreat to the comfort of their parent clubs.

In a relegation dog fight, players that have a safe place to return home to are rarely prepared for the struggles ahead. QPR certainly seem on the brink of entering a nasty brawl for survival and the combination of inexperience and fear among the squad is dangerous.

Tuesday night’s defeat to City was the fourth straight for Rangers in the league, a miserable new record.

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The west London side are no strangers to poor starts, but 7-1 marked a historical embarrassment- QPR had not suffered a loss that heavy since 1987.

It’s not even September but fans are already calling for McClaren’s head. After City scored their third goal home fans erupted into a loud cry of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”. The noise was the loudest of the evening.

Even before the loss to City, McClaren had released a statement calling for “unity” and “character”. Those sorts of statements often only come when a manager can sense there is a target on his back.

In the 2012-13 Premier League season, QPR, under manager Mark Hughes, set an unwanted record of the longest run of games without a win. Fans will hope that a similar milestone doesn’t get reached this year.

You can follow Flo on Twitter at @floydtweet

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