On Friday night, Kevin Blackwell took temporary charge of the Hoops for an away game against high-flying Middlesbrough as Neil Warnock – the club’s interim manager – had to pull out for personal reasons.
Let’s be clear this is not me having a go at Warnock, and I hope whatever the reasons are, that all is well, or as good as it can be. But, the temporary manager’s assistant taking charge of the team, for a tricky away game, is just so QPR and I’m getting tired of it.
The result on Friday feels almost secondary to events off the field. Despite a solid and determined effort, QPR eventually lost out to a last minute Grant Leadbitter penalty after Leroy Fer handled the ball on the goal-line to prevent a Daniel Ayala shot. Fer was unsurprisingly sent off for his actions and again continues to flatter to deceive in a R’s shirt.
As it stands QPR are 13th in the table, seven points from the relegation zone and eight points from the play-offs, the very definition of mid-table mediocrity. However, we’ve now lost five away games in a row and have failed to score in our last four matches. Prior to this run we were the top scorers in the league. Troubling signs for whoever eventually takes charge at Loftus Road.
It feels like every man and has dog has been backed in the QPR managerial race, but the clear favourite for this week at least appears to be Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Hasselbaink has done well at Burton Albion, getting the club promoted from League Two and has them sitting pretty in the play-off positions in League One. However, why would he want to take over at QPR? At Burton, JFH inherited a well run club and decent squad due to the fine work of his predecessor Gary Rowett, who is now doing very well at Birmingham.
If Jimmy decides to come to QPR, he’ll inherit a shambles of club behind the scenes, a squad with some so called Premier League players, who are under performing, and a chairman who changes his expectations of what the manager’s aims for the season should be at the drop of a hat. Also, the way things are going there’s every chance Burton and QPR could be in the same league next season.
As well as Hasselbaink, former QPR assistant manager and current Wolves boss Kenny Jackett is getting some support. For me, he’d be the right man for now, but that’s completely dependent on what the board are expecting. If the intention is promotion the board need to sort out who their manager is pronto otherwise the club will have too much ground to make up. Personally, I think a more sensible approach is needed with perhaps an admission that staying in the Championship could be better in the long run for the club. However, I can’t see this happening.
As a fan, it’s just so difficult to know what to expect next, both on and off the pitch. The owners have ploughed in hundreds of millions and seemingly taken that debt square on the chin. Based on that they deserve some success and return for their investment, but it clearly hasn’t worked so far. So if you owned the club, ask yourself what would you do next and who would you hire?