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The view from the Pu – April
Thursday, 2nd May 2019 14:18 by Steve Hardy

Steve Hardy is back for his penultimate column of the season, reviewing a traumatic April of one random thumping win and a whole heap of further disappointment besides.

So another month is down and we are almost done for the season, just the one poxy defeat to go. Let’s have a quick look at April, a month that heralded four points from six games and saw us secure our Championship status for another season at least.

The Good

I’ve never been one for looking too heavily into stats but a quick review of our results in 2019 shows that April was actually our best month in terms of points gained. We amassed the huge total of four points i which narrowly beat our February performance of three points, even without those points gained this month we would still be safe which I think just goes to show how poor the bottom three have actually been this season. Still I can’t be too negative can I when I’m talking about our most successful month of the calendar year, and with only one game/defeat to go this season April will continue to be our best month until the new season kicks off. I know it was only four points and I have already stated that we would have been safe but I do feel a bit of credit needs to go to John Eustace for managing to get those points from what was ultimately a rank bad team in freefall.

So we’re safe for another season, which can only be considered a good thing. I’ve drummed on about this a few times this season but if you go back to August and that nightmare start to the season I think we all would have been biting hands left, right and centre to be safe with two games to spare – myself included. I think after the start to the season and the form since the turn of the year it is a positive that we are still going to be playing football in the same division next season but we can’t just continue this general malaise around the club where we’re happy for just survival. Something really does need to change otherwise we’ll be playing League 1 football in 16 months’ time, what it is that changes I don’t know, but we really have let the standards slip at the club and someone needs to come in and set those standards and then focus on maintaining them.

I think I’ll reserve my final point for that Swansea game. How much did we need that? Not just points wise but I think as a club, as a fanbase and as players.Obviously we then went and QPR’d it right up by losing our next three games but I just think it went to show what a bit of positivity and intent can do, and on top of that it shows how easy it is to please us as fans. Don’t get me wrong, Swansea were clearly playing in flip flops but that urgency and intensity will be required more than ever next season. More than likely the Swansea match will be our last victory or the season but it was ultimately our best performance, so a real positive to take from another poor month really.

Also a shout out to Luke Freeman on the player of the year award – probably the most obvious winner since Charlie Austin in 2014/15.

The Bad

There really is so much I could talk about here – Joel Lynch, Tomer Hemed etc – but what I really wanted to focus on was our search for a new manager and some of the people that have been linked and in some cases interviewed.

Let me make it clear, it is good that we’re interviewing instead of some agent getting in the board’s ear, but is there really any point in talking to Steve Cotterill? Bar success with Cheltenham at a time when the internet was a relatively new invention and getting Bristol City promoted from a division they shouldn’t have been in this is a manager with a history of failure on his CV, doesn’t play particularly attractive football and has no real history of developing youngsters. I’m all for a thorough recruitment process but what, really, was the point of getting him in for an interview. We should be better than that, we should take one look at that CV and say no thanks.

I know it’s hardly an inspiring list of candidates but has our stock fallen that low that we’re considering people like Cotterill and Michael Appleton. Like I stated earlier as a club we need to have a set of standards that we want and then we must maintain those standards, I just look at some of the people on that list and I really question their desire to come and manage Queens Park Rangers, especially in the current situation that we’re in.

It certainly isn’t a good thing approaching the end of the season not knowing who our manager will be going into the next season – or even what our playing squad will be for the season will be – but at least we appear to be taking out time. Or maybe it’s just because everyone they’re interviewing is crap? However I do feel that this appointment is key, we’re all aware of the situation we are heading into next season, so a thorough process is required and welcomed but let’s certainly have some kind of idea about the type of manager we want instead of wasting a load of time interviewing anyone who throws their hat in the ring.

With all this being said if you had to ask me who I would like, I would probably go with Ainsworth or Jackett, purely on the basis that I believe they would set a level that we expect from the players and they would be good at maintaining that. They key issue though is as Clive says, they need to be set the remit when they’re appointed and that needs to be stuck to, whether that happens or not we’ll just have to wait and see.

At least this season is finally, finally drawing to a close.

The QPR

I suppose there is nothing more QPR than a squad walking around and applauding an empty stadium. But bar a handful of players (Leistner, Freeman etc) it was no more than they deserve after the last few months really. We all deserve a lot better than this.

Monthly rating – D minus

Links >>> Follow Steve’s match-by-match reviews on Instagram >>> August >>> September >>> October >>> November >>> December >>> January >>> February >>> March

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