Beat around the Bush
DO you remember a time when confidence was so high? When team spirit was so buoyant? Where supporters were so hopeful of success? Me neither!
Thus far it has proven a season to remember for Queens Park Rangers and, far from having their hopes scuppered, the Rs have reasserted their dominance at the Championship summit.
The January signings serve as a reminder of Newcastle last season, players capable of taking the league leaders the extra mile and further bolstering an already successful squad.
The arrivals of Wayne Routledge, Dan Shittu and Pascal Chimbonda are of the calibre to see QPR over that final hurdle, and the evidence shows that these introductions are already paying dividends.
A good return from Routledge has served to strengthen the Rangers’ attacking threat, and no longer can QPR be accused of being a one-man outfit.
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There is little question that Adel Taarabt is influential, indeed at times he is the lynchpin in the Rangers set-up, but the likes of Routledge can only complement the existing talent of the Moroccan.
As mentioned, the team spirit and confidence factors cannot be understated – the core of the side, Shaun Derry, Clint Hill and Paddy Kenny, have been well augmented by the arrivals in January.
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So where to go from here then? Things are far from done and Neil Warnock will be the first to preach that line of thought, but matters are perfectly poised for the Rs.
A small stutter has subsided and once again the wave of expectancy mounts around W12, notably with the help of opposition managers and the media at large.
With every positive result for Rangers, there is an ‘of course they’ll go up’ mentality, that kind of formal, procedural mentality that the players must guard against.
Rest assured then, QPR supporters, that the man at the helm has seen it all and done it all, while stalwarts such as Hill and Derry will not allow complacency to creep into their game.
These factors and more have made Rangers a force to be reckoned with this season, but even myself as the optimist did not picture this image through my rose-tinted spectacles – an ever-diminishing requirement!
The excitement over the next few weeks will be palpable and if the current crop continue their fine form, the doubters will be converted and Rs fans can once again dream of promotion.
Nothing is settled, but the signs are that Rangers have all the attributes and mentality to maintain their charge for the Premier League.