The Hoops were in bad form, claiming victory in only one of their opening eight games. A poor start from a newly promoted side can usually be excused if they are at least all appear to be trying to win their games . You expect a team that will be fighting for survival from day one to start off with a bit of fight and desire, but as their manager Harry Redknapp pointed out after their defeat to West Ham United, there were a few players that were not up to even the required fitness, let alone the required level of performance.
The gaffer was disgusted with his side to say the least, feeling frustrated that despite his best efforts, his players were simply not trying hard enough. From the simple act of chasing down the ball when they lost possession, to actually managing to string together a number of passes, QPR struggled. And then there was the fact that after 70 minutes of every game, the majority of the squad looked too tired to continue playing.
Something had to be done, or Queens Park Rangers would be relegated before Santa had even finished eating all his mince pies.
Results wise, they have not really improved that dramatically, only winning one more game since their run of bad form, beating fellow strugglers Aston Villa 2-0, before going on to lose their London derby with Chelsea.
It is the way they have played rather than the results that deserves recognition, however. After their loss to West Ham, it seemed that enough was enough for Redknapp and he must have had some serious words with his team, because in their next game, a home fixture against Liverpool, they looked a completely different set of players altogether.
They played with urgency from the start of the game, pressing Liverpool, not allowing them any room to play their own game. They attacked in numbers, passing the ball well, creating serious chances in the first half of the game that if converted would have seen them going into the half time break two or three goals up.
The only thing that seemed lacking in that game was their finishing, it was not clinical at all, and despite a valiant effort in the second half, QPR lost the game to a very poor Liverpool side.
They continued in the same vein in their next match, that 2-0 victory over Villa, and it paid off. After that, a tougher affair away to league leaders Chelsea awaited, and many expected the title favourites to crush QPR.
In fact, that was not the case, and even though Jose Mourinho’s men came out with the three points, it was clearly Harry Redknapp’s side that deserved the plaudits for a fantastic performance. They took the game to Chelsea from the off, pressing them, tackling, passing and attacking without fear.
It seems that Redknapp has finally turned his team into a bunch of guys that want to play football rather than feel they have to. They look like they have that all important desire, hunger and drive that will be very much needed throughout the course of the season.
Then maybe, just maybe, they will avoid the drop and start building on from there.