QPR’s squad is technically better than I initially thought, admits Bircham

QPR first-team coach Marc Bircham (left) alongside manager Ian Holloway

QPR first-team coach Marc Bircham (left) alongside manager Ian Holloway - Credit: EMPICS Sport

QPR first-team coach Marc Bircham admits he has been pleasantly surprised with the technical ability in the squad.

Bircham, a boyhood QPR fan who made 167 appearances for the Rs during his playing days, says he has been impressed with what he’s seen from the squad so far.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised, I must say,” said the former midfielder. “It’s a better squad than I thought, technically.

“We’ve got to get them right mentally in terms of being winners now.”

Bircham, who says he will be drumming into his squad the importance of playing for the club, felt former boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was unfortunate to lose his job – and believes his connections with Chelsea did him no favours whatsoever.

He added: “Jimmy was unlucky but he’s ex-Chelsea and people who aren’t QPR don’t realise how big that is. It was always going to come up and that’s no disrespect to him, but he’s ex-Chelsea.

“When it goes bad you have less time and that’s how ex-players work at clubs with their rivals.

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“Fans couldn’t connect to the team and that’s been a problem in the past. There’s been no bridge or connection to the team.

“There are no local players or ex-affiliation and then it’s on results and if they don’t happen, they’ll turn quicker. It’s a results business. We may have a couple more games where the fans are on our side but you need results in this league. But hopefully we can do it in a way that the fans can be proud of, and the players can be proud of wearing that badge.

“I’ll be telling them about every sort of history with the club. I may do QPR quizzes away from home so they know about it.

“It’s showing the fans and players how much it means to us and how much it means to them.”