Monday night’s 3-2 defeat to Fulham was not simply a miss opportunity for Queens Park Rangers – it was another nail in their coffin. Harry Redknapp’s men sit seven points from safety, and face a must win game this weekend against the team that sit fourth from bottom - Wigan.
Roberto Martinez has led his team to yet another late season surge. They sit on 30 points, level with Aston Villa in 18th, but with a game in hand. Should QPR lose to Wigan at Loftus Road then Rangers will be at least eight points from safety with only six game to go – and potentially ten points away from Premier League football next season. Redknapp is not yet praying for a miracle.
“Not miracles,” he said to the Telegraph. “Miracles are if you’re a cripple and I touch you and cure you. That’s a miracle; or if I turn a loaf into whatever.
“No, it’s not a miracle that wins football matches. It’s difficult, but we’ve got to try to win five games, or four games and two draws. If they come, they come. We’ve just got to keep going. It’s all we can do.”
While it is true the QPR players cannot rely on divine intervention to save their season, avoiding the kind of individual errors that cost them three first half goals against Fulham would be a massive step in the right direction.
In Loic Remy QPR have a goal-scorer, in Tottenham loanee Andros Townsend and ex-Blackburn forward Junior Holliett they have penetrating wingers. Julio Cesar has shown the form that made him a treble winner with Internazionale.
Jermaine Jenas, Stephane M’Bia, Park Ji Sung and Esteban Granero have plenty of Premier League experience between them. However, results speak for themselves and the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts.
Only four wins in the league show why QPR are struggling and draws are now as much use as defeats. If ever there was a relegation six-pointer, this is it.
Equally for Martinez and Wigan, this is a massive opportunity to pick up another win, a remarkable fourth on the bounce in all competitions, and the FA Cup semi-finalists could end up with a mid table finish if they keep this run going.
Redknapp was on a hiding to nothing when he took over the QPR job – keep them up and Harry Houdini had done it again. See them slide and he tried his best with a poorly constructed side that was practically already down.
Regardless, QPR’s dwindling hopes of staying up and avoiding more than relegation but also a ticking financial time bomb are reliant on winning on Saturday. Draw or lose and there will surely be no way they can pull of a great escape.
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