Step on the Gaz
PUBLISHED: 12:17 17 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 24 August 2010
MAYBE our performance on Sunday wasn t as entertaining as people had hoped, but in one sense it was phenomenal. After each game, we go through all the stats with John Harbin, our performance manager, and in terms of fitness, passing and work-rate, everyth
MAYBE our performance on Sunday wasn't as entertaining as people had hoped, but in one sense it was phenomenal.
After each game, we go through all the stats with John Harbin, our performance manager, and in terms of fitness, passing and work-rate, everything was excellent.
That's a real improvement on last year and I think it showed in those last 10 or 15 minutes, when we got stronger and Southampton ran out of energy.
We panicked a bit when we were pulled back to 1-1 by 10 men, but in the end we were convincing winners and I have to mention the two lads who came on, Rowly and Patrick.
Both of them were itching to get on the pitch - that's what it's like at QPR these days - and they really made an impact, which is no disrespect to the players they replaced.
I think that TV jinx we used to have is well and truly buried now - and something else that's changed is to have not one, but two QPR lads high up in the scoring charts.
With Emmanuel Ledesma missing the game, Dexter's two goals moved him ahead on five and I'm really pleased for him, not just because we seem to do well whenever he scores.
People forget how young Dexter is - he's only 22, but he seems to have been around for ages.
It's sometimes hard to play on your own up top - it takes a big man, mentally rather than physically, and Dexter's really shown he's up to that job.
After Norwich, we've got another two games on the road this week and we want to start picking up some wins away from Loftus Road.
Coventry will be up for it on Saturday, I've no doubt about that. They had some troubled times at the end of last year and maybe are still recovering from those.
They haven't spent a great deal of money in the summer and, although I think they're heading in the right direction, at this stage it's a game we can win.
And I take the same view of our cup game at Aston Villa. I didn't play when we were up there a few years ago, but there might have been a few thoughts of damage limitation that time.
That isn't the way we'll be approaching this tie. We want to progress in the Carling Cup and we have to beat Villa to do that.
Of course they're favourites - if not one of the favourites to win the whole competition, as one of the better Premier League clubs who really take it seriously.
But, as with the FA Cup tie at Chelsea last season, this is a little taster of what we want to experience every week - and I'm sure we can use it as an opportunity to show how far we've come already.