QPR v Brentford: Rs favourite urges club to find their identity ahead of local derby

Martin Rowlands (left), in action for QPR against former side Brentford in 2003, scored 37 goals in

Martin Rowlands (left), in action for QPR against former side Brentford in 2003, scored 37 goals in 217 appearances during a successful nine-year spell at Loftus Road. - Credit: EMPICS Sport

QPR favourite Martin Rowlands is “struggling to see the direction the club is going in”, and says their main priority must be stabilising in the Championship and getting their identity back.

Rowlands, speaking ahead of tonight’s local derby against Brentford, is unconvinced by what he has seen during Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s reign to date and says the team are in desperate need of adding consistency to their game.

He told the Times: “It’s been so stop-start throughout Jimmy’s reign. We don’t look like we have any real style of play or strategy and as a fan that’s a real concern.

“I’m struggling to see the direction the club is going in this season. I’m not convinced from what I’ve seen since Jimmy took over.

“The team are very much up-and-down at the minute – there’s no kind of consistency. One week they’re fairly decent and the next [like against Reading] they’re very poor.

“Hopefully the team can get some sort of consistency and secure a top-10 finish and maybe push for the play-offs, but time will tell.

“The club certainly isn’t ready for the Premier League. We need to stabilise now and create an identity and a way of playing and then hopefully one day we’ll be back competing in the Premier League.”

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Despite that, Rowlands, who made over 200 appearances during a successful nine-year spell in W12, is confident the Rs can get one over the Bees – a side he knows all too well.

The 37-year-old’s high-profile move from Griffin Park to Loftus Road back in 2003 caused uproar among the former’s fan base – with which he previously held a good rapport – but Rowlands still has fond memories of his time in red and white.

He added: “I’ve got some very happy memories of my time there. I was there for five years and it was a productive spell for us all.

“We got promoted in my first year to Division Two (now League One). I’ve got some lifelong friends that I made there that I still speak to, like Lloyd Owusu and Danny Boxall.

“It’s a shame things happened the way they did. Obviously things went on towards the end of my time there that no-one knew about, so it ended a bit sour.

“People can say what they like about it, it’s all in the past now, but I know I made the right move going to QPR and had a really successful time at the club.

“Brentford have had quite a good start to this season. They began slow but they’ve come on strong recently. On the other hand Rangers came out all guns blazing, but we’ve tailed off now and stabilised in mid-table.

“We got a very positive result at home to them last season [3-0], so hopefully the lads can repeat that result as there is enough quality in the squad to do that.”