‘Wolves are 18 months ahead of us’, says QPR boss
Saturday’s hosts have plenty of top players according to Warnock
Neil Warnock has hailed Saturday’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers as a shining example of how a Premier League club can survive and become a stable Premier League club.
Mick McCarthy’s Wolves, who were promoted to the top flight in May 2009, only escaped relegation back to the Championship by a single point on the final day of last season.
Built they built on that survival with a number of eye-catching signings this summer, including Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara and the �7 million capture of Birmingham City defender Roger Johnson, and have made a promising start to this campaign, with seven points from a possible 12.
That, coupled with financial security and a stadium capacity of almost 28,000, has convinced Rs boss Warnock that they are the team to emulate.
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“Wolves are a team that’s 18 months in front of us really,” admitted Warnock. “They’ve had to go through a similar situation to what we’re going through, and now Mick’s moved on a level and bought top players; the likes of [Kevin] Doyle, to take them to the next level. I look on with envy at Doyle. I made offers for him over the years but never quite made it.
“I think the club have done very well off the field. [Chief Executive] Jez Moxey and the chairman have supported Mick and done it in the right way.
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“We’re not anywhere near that level, but that’s where we want to be.
“There’s a lot of good clubs that have got good grounding now, and Wolves is one of them. Yes they might have just clung in there by the skin of their teeth [last season], but they’ve moved on again, been supported in the boardroom, the signings.
“They have got a good stadium now and are run well off the field, so that is the way forward for them.”
Warnock also revealed that a teenage McCarthy used to clean his boots when the two were at Barnsley during the late 70s, with the two men remaining friends ever since.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Mick, he’s seen all the ups and downs in football,” added Warnock.
Warnock and new QPR owner Tony Fernandes have insisted that survival is QPR’s sole target this season, with anything else a bonus, but although Warnock has accepted that his side may receive some lessons on their travels, he says the recent influx of signings has made them a stronger side.
“That’s where you want to be when you come up; you’ve got to stay up and then try to stabilise. You’d love to take the next step, but you can’t run before you walk.”
“We’ve got to go everywhere now and try and win games,” added the boss. “Away from home, when you look at the two Manchester teams, they’re formidable really.
“But it’s nice to know that at least if you’re going to be losing 7-2 you’re not the worst!”
Follow Ian Cooper on Twitter @QPRTimes