QPR bound Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will back himself to turn club’s fortunes around
PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 December 2015
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QPR are closing in on the appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as their new head coach, almost a month after the sacking of Chris Ramsey.
The Dutchman has done a sterling job at Burton Albion, leading the Brewers to the League Two title last season and the summit of the third tier this term.
Some will ask why? Why have QPR gone for a manager unproven at this level, and also, why would Hasselbaink – who has build up an impressive CV in his short managerial career to date – want to make the move to a club which is quite simply struggling, on and off the field.
The answer to both of those is ambition. QPR believe, and rightly so, with the squad they possess that they should be fighting for promotion come the end of the season. Hasselbaink – despite lacking the credentials at this level – has made the step up from League Two to One with ease, so what’s stopping him from doing the same again?
While Burton are certainly a club on the up, there’s no doubting that the opportunity to manage QPR is a far more illustrious one, despite all their problems and continued uncertainty regarding Financial Fair Play and whether a shovel will actually ever enter Warren Farm in order for a new training ground to appear.
Hasselbaink’s stock is rising and deservedly so. He is a cool and collective character, takes no prisoners and is meticulous in his approach to the game.
It isn’t even that big a risk for Hasselbaink taking on this job. If it didn’t work out he has proved he can manage in League One and would have no shortage of options there or could easily go back to his native Holland – not that failure ever enters his mind.
The only thing that he has been toying with is the QPR fans’ reaction to him getting the job due to his Chelsea connections.
If things were to go wrong, there is every chance the situation could turn ugly and that topic would be brought up by supporters – just look at Mark Hughes – who have always viewed the Blues as their arch-rivals, no matter what league they’ve been competing in.
Director of football Les Ferdinand has favoured Hasselbaink all along in this recruitment process. One of the main attributes Rangers want in their new head coach is someone who is a strong personality and commands respect in the dressing room – and the former striker turned manager is certainly one of those.
His extensive and wide- ranging contacts book is another factor which has impressed the board, with the 43-year-old more than capable of attracting the right type of player with the suitable quality to impress at this level.
With all due respect to Burton, there’s only so far a club of that size can go.
The squad Hasselbaink currently has at his disposal at the Pirelli Stadium are hardly a bunch of world beaters, but what they have got in abundance are heart, commitment and desire, and that is a recipe for success at most levels.
Some may say the safer option would have been to hand Neil Warnock the reins until the end of the season.
There’s no doubting Warnock and Kevin Blackwell would have steadied the ship and made a push for promotion, but Rangers are crying out for an appointment with the club’s long-term future in mind, not yet another short-term fix.
Kenny Jackett is another name which has been mentioned prominently in board meetings between members of the Rangers hierarchy.
The Wolves boss, who has been linked to the job on various occasions in the past too, would have been a very shrewd appointment, but that boat sailed a long time ago.
If this appointment did go wrong it could spell disaster for QPR and relegation to League One.
Bigger and better clubs, Leeds, Manchester City and Southampton most notably, have tumbled down to the third tier before and it’s not inconceivable that could happen to Rangers, but thankfully that looks highly unlikely.
Some will certainly view this appointment as a huge risk, but Hasselbaink won’t and he’ll give everything to turn this club – for whom he has always had a soft spot from afar – back to the force it once was in the early 1990s in the Premier League.