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Kevin Gallen column: Booing helps nobody… QPR fans and players must stick together in times like this

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:06 02 November 2015

Kevin Gallen is a QPR legend among supporters after his two spells at the club.

Kevin Gallen is a QPR legend among supporters after his two spells at the club.

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QPR favourite Kevin Gallen discusses Friday's west London derby against Brentford, the criticism of Karl Henry and Clint Hill's recall to the starting XI.

QPR were thumped 4-0 in their last west London derby at FulhamQPR were thumped 4-0 in their last west London derby at Fulham

Hello all and welcome to my first column of the season for the Brent & Kilburn Times.

QPR have a good opportunity to continue their unbeaten run against Brentford tonight. Derby games are normally quite tight. I know the Fulham game was an exception to that, but I expect Rangers’ physical presence to get them over the line in this one and secure the three points.

They’ve got to make sure they’re on the winning side of a derby this time around and put in a big performance for the fans. These games mean a lot to everyone connected with the club, especially the fans, so I hope the players can go out there and produce the goods for them.

I was pleased to hear Chris Ramsey come out on Thursday in his pre-match press conference and reveal that Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will be starting for the Rs against Brentford.

Jay has been QPR’s best player over the last month, I’ve been really impressed with him. He’s been the focal point of the team and led the line brilliantly, using his strength and power to devastating effect.

Charlie is obviously desperate to be back out there after his injury but I think the sensible thing for Chris to do would be to have him on the bench to begin with, and then raring to go if Rangers are chasing the game or looking for a winner.

That said, I believe they could work well together upfront and form a formidable partnership if Chris was to switch to a 4-4-2 formation in the future.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has scored five goals in eight games for QPR this seasonJay Emmanuel-Thomas has scored five goals in eight games for QPR this season

One of Jay’s main strengths is his hold-up play – something which isn’t one of Charlie’s strong points in his game.

Jay could then provide the same kind of support which Bobby Zamora offered Charlie last season – and look at how good those two were together. Hopefully Chris will look at that option because I think they’d complement each other’s games really well.

Physical

Despite Rangers keeping back-to-back clean sheets in the league, their defensive record has been a real cause for concern this season.

If your defenders can’t head the ball out and clear their lines, then at any level, especially in the Championship, you’re going to struggle.

With Clint Hill you know exactly what you are going to get. He is going to compete, put his heart on the line and win these headers.

Clint Hill remains QPR's best defender, insists GallenClint Hill remains QPR's best defender, insists Gallen

He’s not going to try and play the ball out of the back like Gabriele Angella, but the latter’s not going to win you headers and offer you a physical presence in turn. With that in mind I thought the club made a mistake not offering Richard Dunne a new deal – he is an excellent player at this level.

I don’t think QPR, without Clint, can handle a direct and physical team in this league. So it’s been good to see him get recalled as despite the fact he is 37 years old he’s QPR’s best defender, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.

Support

I actually thought Karl Henry was doing a decent job on Saturday against MK Dons. You know what you’re going to get with him. He’s not a great passer, he’s not a playmaker, but he’s a grafter who protects the back four and provides a physical presence in midfield. He always wears his heart on his sleeve and gives 100% for the team.

I thought the reception he got on Saturday was bang out of order, he didn’t deserve that at all. On the whole he’s been a solid player for QPR during his time at the club.

You have to have a different blend in midfield. If you play Henry and Sandro that’s a very defensive minded midfield, but if you play Alejandro Faurlin and Daniel Tozser that’s a very light midfield and offers no real protection to the back four.

Gallen believes the criticism that Karl Henry has received has been unfairGallen believes the criticism that Karl Henry has received has been unfair

Sandro and Henry are fighting for a place in the team, and Ale, Tozser and Michael Doughty are competing for the other spot. If Sandro’s fit he’ll play, but if not Henry will.

I don’t think the criticism is right in any way shape or form, though. I think the fans need to support the player whatever the circumstances. When you’ve got the fans on your back, it just makes the situation ten times worse.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of the game and the efforts of some players then you can vent your frustrations come full-time, but booing shouldn’t be going on during the game, it makes everyone feel uneasy.

Expectations

QPR are probably still spending the most in this division in terms of wages and they brought in quite a few players in the summer too.

They’ve signed Sebastian Polter, who has struggled to make the matchday squad let alone play, Tjaronn Chery, Massimo Luongo, Ben Gladwin and Alex Smithies. You’re looking at over £8million alone that has been spent on those five players.

Summer signing Sebastian Polter has struggled for game time at QPRSummer signing Sebastian Polter has struggled for game time at QPR

As well as that they’ve brought in experience players like James Perch and Paul Konchesky, and kept the likes of Charlie, Matty Phillips, Sandro and Fer. It’s difficult as when there are high expectations and if you have a few bad results the fans get on your back and that create a problem.

The fans looks at the money that’s been spent and the wages these players are on and demand success, and I don’t disagree with them. QPR have realistically got to be looking towards a top-six finish, there’s a lot of talent in that squad.

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