Shaun Derry column: QPR will find it tough this season... the sooner Jamie Mackie is back the better

Shaun Derry was a firm fans favourite during his time at QPR

Shaun Derry was a firm fans favourite during his time at QPR - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

In the first of his monthly columns for the Brent & Kilburn Times, QPR favourite Shaun Derry discusses the club’s chances of promotion from the Championship this season, while directing praise towards Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo.

I’m really pleased to have been asked to write for the Brent & Kilburn Times on a monthly basis. QPR is a club close to my heart and I enjoyed some of the best moments of my playing career there.

I never had the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone after leaving back in November 2013, as I then had 17 months in management with Notts County and since then I’ve spent time in America broadening my horizons in regards to coaching and also done some media work, so it was great to come back as a guest of the club against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The reception I got from the QPR fans when I came on to the pitch at half-time was first class and meant a lot – it was just a shame about the result, which brought an end to a three-match winning run.

One positive though was the performance of Massimo Luongo. I thought he was central to a lot of the good play QPR put together. I was a big fan of his when he was at Swindon and was interested to see if he could make that step up to the Championship.

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On Saturday’s evidence he certainly looks as though he has got more than enough about him to establish himself at this level.

I must say, though, I was disappointed on the whole with the performance on Saturday. With the greatest of respect to Forest, if QPR have got any aspirations of bouncing back and getting promoted at the first time of asking, you’ve got to be winning those types of games.

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I never really felt at any given point QPR were in control of the game, so that was a concern for me.

With Charlie Austin and Matty Phillips staying, it gave everyone at the club a huge boost going into what will be a crucial period over the next few months, but I still think it’s going to be a tough year – there are just so many clubs in the Championship who have ambitions of getting into the Premier League.

The sooner Jamie Mackie is back in that team the better – he’s the type of player you love to have in your side.

He brings energy, enthusiasm and an abundance of pace – defenders hate playing against him. He’s such an unselfish player and his return could really benefit Charlie – I could see those two striking up a good partnership and Jamie could help reduce some of Charlie’s workload.

*This column went to press prior to QPR’s fixture against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.

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