QPR moving in right direction with Ramsey

Fresh start | QPR manager Chris Ramsey has already stopped the rot away from home. (Image | Daily Express)
QPR manager Chris Ramsey has already stopped the rot away from home. (Image | Daily Express)

QPR ended a run of 11 straight away defeats with a 2-0 win against Sunderland, which led to caretaker manager Chris Ramsey being given the job until the end of the season.

Goals from Leroy Fer and Bobby Zamora, both supplied by superb crosses from Matt Phillips, sunk the Black Cats, who are on a dreadful run themselves with just two wins at home so far.

It came after Harry Redknapp walked, nay limped, out of the Loftus Road hotseat claiming that he could no longer continue in charge due to a long-standing knee injury.

Without meaning to query the discomfort he may well be feeling, many could not help but wonder whether the lack of January signings and precarious league position precipitated his decision to quit.

Ramsey took charge of the Rs for the home match against Southampton, in which an improved side went down 1-0 to a last-minute Sadio Mane goal, for which QPR only had themselves to blame.

A marauding run from centre-back Steven Caulker, during which he was dispossessed, led to a quick Saints counter-attack and the excellent Senegalese attacker fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Yet just a few days later, Rangers looked like a completely different side, with Phillips providing the width that Redknapp failed to find throughout his time in charge.

His cross from the right was met by a powerful header from Fer following some neat passing, before another whipped ball was volleyed home superbly by Zamora, in for the injured Charlie Austin.

Several wondrous saves from Robert Green, arguably the Superhoops’ best player this season bar Austin, kept Sunderland at bay, but the instrumental Fer will be out for ten weeks after being stretchered off.

The appointment of Ramsey looks a smart move, despite chairman Tony Fernandes gushing that he had found his “dream manager” early this week, who is unlikely to have been the ex-Spurs academy chief.

He looks far more likely to be able to extract the best out of Phillips, Junior Hoilett and perhaps even Shaun Wright-Phillips, while having more of a training ground influence can only help.

Many can’t help but wonder whether the lack of January signings precipitated Redknapp’s decision to quit

Redknapp relied upon a harem of coaches in order to prepare and motivate the team, but never before in Premier League history have so many players been trained so badly by so many coaches.

At the very least, stopping the record-breaking rot on the road should provide a much-needed confidence boost, while Ramsey seems to be full of the passion his predecessor lacked.

It also hints at a growing degree of maturity in the decision making of Fernandes, who in the past would have rushed out and promised the world to an expensive, high-profile manager.

While he and the club were knocked back by Michael Laudrup and Tim Sherwood, there are many other out-of-work bosses that would have jumped at the chance to take over at QPR.

By denying Redknapp the funds he sought in the January transfer window, Fernandes paved the way for him to move on, and the appointment of Les Ferdinand surely undermined him.

However, it seems that the owner once known for signing off any transfer, no matter how ridiculous, has now realised that caution might be the best way of running a football club.

Rangers have good players, and a more cohesive, well-balanced squad than under Mark Hughes. All that is needed now is a manager to drill them, motivate them and deploy them correctly.

If Ramsey is able to extract even a minimum level of effort from certain individuals, and get the best out of flickering lights such as Eduardo Vargas, survival is not as impossible as it seems.

Have your say | Tweet the author | @chriskking

Originally published on TEAMtalk on Friday February 13 2015.

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