Beat around the Bush

By Daniel Harrod YOU VE just won �63 on the lottery, your neighbour s just asked if you ve lost weight and your beloved football team are top of the league, unbeaten with a goal difference of plus nine and are fielding a team that is the best you ve seen

By Daniel Harrod

YOU'VE just won �63 on the lottery, your neighbour's just asked if you've lost weight and your beloved football team are top of the league, unbeaten with a goal difference of plus nine and are fielding a team that is the best you've seen in a while.

OK, time to wake up now - unless you're the proud supporter of Queens Park Rangers of course.

As a football fan, nothing beats the feeling of securing three points, let alone taking 10 from your first four games.

Add to that three clean sheets and the sublime brilliance of players like Adel Taarabt, talking to a QPR fan is like talking to a five year-old who's received an invitation to go to Lapland to meet Father Christmas.

Long forgotten are the recent days of relegation and managerial changes, and the exuberance of seeing QPR top of the league is quickly being filtered into pub conversations across west London.

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This is what football fans live for. The feeling of walking into work or school on a Monday morning with your head held high, knowing that you can explain in depth how your team triumphed on Saturday afternoon.

Knowing that you can proudly cut out the league table from the paper and stick it to the computer screen of your boss, a Chelsea fan who can barely recall their sixth place finish in the 2001/2002 season.

Football shirts can be worn to the park with pride, new games on Football Manager with updated transfers have been started and life just feels so good at the moment, you've even offered to do the washing up at home.

Rarely has Loftus Road been filled with such vibrant anticipation. After a somewhat cautious start to the summer transfer window, Neil Warnock has assembled a team that has quickly unified into a proficient Championship side.

Having experienced some rare 'deadline day' excitement, many Rs fans are now filled with a confidence that resembles that of the trip to Hillsborough in our 2003/2004 promotion season.

QPR fans are, however, far from getting carried away. Warnock has been quick to quash any exaggerated expectations and the Rs faithful are all too aware of how dreams can soon diminish into nothing but footballing mediocrity.

The last time QPR started a season in such inspired fashion was 1947. So if you'd thought you'd got away from the 'we are top of the league' chants, while QPR are still leading the way, be sure to hear them from the voices of those fans you once thought had disappeared into the doldrums of the lower league tiers.

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