Ex-QPR striker’s encouraged by Rangers’ new approach after first two signings
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
EXCLUSIVE: Former QPR striker Bradley Allen believes the signings of Massimo Luongo and Ben Gladwin show Rangers are heading in the right direction under Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey.
Allen, who was at Loftus Road between 1988 and 1996, played up front with Ferdinand for the Rs and went on to work with him and Ramsey in Tottenham’s academy.
The 43-year-old still coaches Spurs’ Under-15s, while Ferdinand and Ramsey have moved on to try to rebuild relegated QPR as director of football and manager respectively.
Rangers made their first summer signings last week, recruiting 22-year-old midfielders Luongo and Gladwin from League One outfit Swindon Town – and Allen believes the new arrivals are indicative of a fresh philosophy in W12.
“I think there’s a change of focus now, a more sensible approach,” he told the Times. “They know they need a hungrier, certainly younger type of player who’s going to fit into what QPR are going to be trying to do over the next couple of seasons.
“They’ve tried the previous approach on two separate occasions in the Premier League, and as we’ve seen unfortunately it didn’t work.
“If you look back to the heady days of the mid-90s and the successful QPR teams of those periods, they had players who were not only homegrown but also were bought from further down the football pyramid, who came in and more than contributed to the success of the team.
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“Gerry Francis developed the likes of Andy Tillson. He took Trevor Sinclair from Blackpool, and Andy Impey came from Yeading, from non-league. When they arrived at the club they quickly got into the team ethic that we had. There were no superstars as such, and we were all in it together and we had great success.
“Both Gladwin and Luongo have done particularly well for Swindon this season. It’s a natural step up for them, having not been promoted through the play-off final.”
Like Allen, Ferdinand and Ramsey, 22-year-old Luongo – who was named the player of the tournament when Australia won this year’s Asian Cup – also has a link to Tottenham, having come through the club’s academy and played one first-team match in a League Cup tie before moving to Swindon for £400,000.
“Massimo is an Australia international who has had a really good, positive 18 months and I think he could definitely become the heartbeat of the side,” said Allen. “He’s technically a very good footballer and let’s hope he can show that in the team and for the QPR supporters.
“He’s a good passer of the ball, he’s a very intelligent and confident young player. He believes in his ability and I’m really sure he’ll be eager to impress and make the most of this opportunity he’s now been given.”
Allen added: “I worked closely with Chris Ramsey for a good few years. He was in the age group above me in the Under-16s and then he got elevated to work alongside both Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood.
“He’s a tremendous developer of players. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and learning different aspects of coaching and helping young players out, and I really hope he’s successful with this opportunity.
“It’s going to be a patient approach. It might not happen in the short-term, but at some stage the club will bear the fruits of this project that they’re trying to put in place.”