This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
QPR have hit a sticky patch in their form but Ian Holloway is full of praise for Mark Warburton and what he is trying to implement at the club.
During Holloway’s spell as manager it is fair to say the R’s were inconsistent at best, and lacked a direction which meant they finished 18th and 16th in 2016/17 and 2017/18 respectively, in what were his only two seasons at the helm.
Last season was also a period of struggle for the club, leading the board to appoint Warburton, who has appeared to turn things around in a short space of time despite losing Luke Freeman and not having much money to spend, relying on loans and free transfers.
They now sit 10th in the Championship, but the entertaining and passing style is a marked improvement – evidenced by their 26 league goals – and an aspect of Warburton’s management that hasn’t been lost on Holloway.
Speaking to the Brent & Kilburn Times, he said:
“It is about having an identity, we have a young team and the manager has done fantastically well. What he talks about with his tactics, you have to give it time to be put into practice.
“You have to find your identity and what you find with Mark is that he is not critical, he gives constructive criticism.
“They are open but I love it. It is entertaining and hopefully with the budget and what he has been given to deal with, it will work.
CEO Lee Hoos spoke recently about that same identity, and with the former Rangers boss in place the club seems to have a long-term plan, which should be a big advantage over the coming months.
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Holloway is encouraged by the new entertaining brand being played at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, and although some fans have likely warmed to the football, it is not a sustainable method of success.
Warburton seems to be aware of the team’s shortcomings, though, recently going back to a five-at-the-back system which could have proved effective against Middlesbrough if it weren’t individual errors.
Should QPR fix solve their weakness at the back they should be well-placed to move up the table. Warburton’s style is clearly getting the best out of his players going forward, with Nahki Wells, Jordan Hugill and Eberechi Eze all contributing on the goal front.
The latter is especially enjoying life under the new boss, and his joy playing in such a way could be a key factor in his upturn in form.
If Warburton can continue to get the best out of players like Eze then he should receive the board’s backing to bring in his own players, and with time the R’s can expect to progress.