Steve McClaren has delivered an incredible u-turn at QPR after the club noticeably stuttered at the beginning of the season. Flo Lloyd-Hughes explores how the R’s have turned their fortunes around.
In August, QPR were sitting in the bottom three of the Championship, struggling and without a win in their first four games. New manager McClaren was under pressure and facing plenty of scrutiny for overseeing some troubling performances, including a 7-1 defeat to West Brom.
A win against Wigan at the end of the month kickstarted a minor recovery period, with more points picked up.
However, it was an unbeaten October that really cemented the comeback as McClaren led QPR to the cusp of the play-off places after victories over Reading, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.
Last week, the former England manager was recognised for his work, picking up the Sky Bet Manager of the Month Award.Embed from Getty Images
During QPR’s uplifting spell, the team reached a defensive peak of conceding just two goals in six games. QPR have already matched their away win record from last season and picked up some rare clean sheets.
On Saturday, QPR celebrated McClaren’s award with a 3-2 win over west London rivals Brentford. The Hoops have now only lost three times in their last 13 matches.
Sitting 10th in the table, the club is remarkably setting sights on a potential play-off spot. There is now some rare optimism and expectation after the initial target for the season was merely to survive.
The Championship is a league where places are always up for grabs, with teams constantly chopping and changing. It is unlikely QPR can maintain this blistering form.Embed from Getty Images
The team’s positive run has also resulted in a steady rise in attendances at Loftus Road. Over the last few seasons, the match attendance had slowly dropped from the lofty heights of sell outs in the Premier League to around 12,000 per game.
The Brentford match however, could be a turning point in more ways than one, as it was QPR’s first sold-out fixture for three years.
It seems that the good times have momentarily returned and fans are quietly regaining their faith in a club that has let them down on and off the pitch.
In a week where three Football League managers were sacked, McClaren seems to have cheated death and then been reincarnated.
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