Queens Park Rangers forward Nahki Wells has predicted Steve McClaren’s side could challenge for a spot in the play-offs this season, in comments made to The Sun.
After a woeful start to the season saw QPR lose their opening four matches, in a run that included a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of West Brom, things started to turn a corner at the end of August as Steve McClaren bolstered his squad with new arrivals.
Since then, QPR have enjoyed a five-match unbeaten run across all competitions and have won three of their last four Championship matches, which has sent the West London side flying up the league standings and has relieved the pressure on McClaren’s shoulders.
“There’s a real good mix at this club. There’s still experienced players around the place – I’d like to think I fall into that category. But there’s also plenty of talented, young players who are eager to do well – not just for themselves, but the club too.
“The first thing to do naturally for most clubs in the Championship is to ensure you have enough points to stay in the division. Ultimately, I think we have a lot more ability than that though – so shouldn’t sell ourselves short in that respect and just settle for safety.”
“I already know in my head the points target for the top two and so forth – we can’t rule that out. I know that would be very tough for us, in terms of the other competition in the league and the finances some teams have at their disposal.
“I don’t see why we can’t go all the way to the end of the season hoping to nick a play-off spot, or even the top two, though. Some people might find me saying that is absurd or silly, but I’ve been around the place for a while now and I’ve seen the way we’ve progressed in a short space of time.”
A month ago, talk of QPR pushing for a spot in the play-offs would have led to eruptions of laugher high enough to register on the Richter scale, but the turnaround in the weeks since has been remarkable – so much so that it would take a brave man to bet against the West London side.
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Wells and fellow loanee Tomer Hemed have provided an instant improvement to McClaren’s forward ranks, although the 28-year-old is yet to find the net for QPR this season, and a sense of optimism has risen around Loftus Road.
It is still very early days though and there is a lot of football ahead. However, it is encouraging to see a senior player in the squad talking positively about the club’s chances this season – especially when the picture just a few weeks ago was extremely gloomy.