Queens Park Rangers: New boss Steve McClaren cannot wait to get started with QPR
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Ex-England manager has signed two-year contract with Loftus Road outfit
Former England boss Steve McClaren is ready for the big challenge of trying to take Queens Park Rangers back into the Premier League.
The 57-year-old has agreed a two-year contract at Loftus Road, where he worked for three months under Harry Redknapp during 2013 before his first spell at Derby.
McClaren replaces Ian Holloway, who joined the west London club for a second stint as boss in November 2016, but left at the end of the Sky Bet Championship season with 12 months still remaining on his contract.
“The biggest challenge will be taking this club forwards, I think it is recovering,” McClaren said at a press conference on Monday morning.
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“I was here five years ago and it was a good season, a good three months for me working with Harry, but certainly the dressing room needed sorting out.
“The last two years have been very good (in terms of) getting the house in order. On the field, I am excited by the squad.
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“That is the attraction for me, that is what I have missed, the coaching the building of a team.
“I believe this squad is very good. It is young, energetic, enthusiastic, has got attitude and can play football. For me, (it is) a perfect fit, and I can’t wait to get started.”
McClaren knows the west London club well, having left to take over at Derby and going on to guide the Rams to the 2014 Championship play-off final at Wembley, where they were beaten by QPR with a dramatic last-minute goal from Bobby Zamora.
McClaren, who left his role as England boss after failing to secure qualification for Euro 2008, is confident QPR can move forwards next season following a 16th-placed finish.
“The priority is, of course, winning football matches, and trying to do that in a certain style. I believe with this squad, we can achieve that,” said McClaren, who had a spell in charge at Newcastle during the 2015-16 season before returning to Derby, his last managerial role ending in March 2017.
“A lot of young players were thrown in (at the end of the season) and handled it well, but to go forwards and win consistently, you need experience around that youth. That is something in the future which we will look towards.”
McClaren, who had remained in contact with QPR co-chairman Tony Fernandes, accepts it will not be an easy ride to get the club back into the top flight, given the financial constraints of the past few seasons.
The new boss added he would work closely with director of football Les Ferdinand to “see what we can do to take QPR to the next level”.
McClaren said: “Everybody knows the troubles that QPR have experienced over recent years in Financial Fair Play, the fine they had to pay, and that has obviously taken the club backwards.
“But I have to credit everybody behind the scenes who have stabilised this club and definitely over the next year or two it is now in a position where it can go forward.”