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QPR: Hoops set to appoint Neil Critchley

QPR look to have finally settled on their successor to Michael Beale, as reports suggest that Neil Critchley is now in pole position to take over at Loftus Road.

According to Football League World, the former Blackpool boss is now closing in on the job with the west London side, after they decided against paying Coventry City a compensation fee in order to prise Mark Robins away from the Sky Blues.

The report claims that a definitive decision will be made in the next 24 hours, as the Hoops look to announce their new boss ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Burnley, when Championship football returns following a month’s break.

Critchley made the somewhat controversial decision to swap a managerial position at Blackpool for an assistant manager position at Aston Villa during the summer but was sacked alongside Steven Gerrard after a disappointing start to the campaign.

During his time at Bloomfield Road, the 44-year-old would earn promotion to the Championship in his first season, going up via the playoffs after a third-place finish in League One, before leading the Tangerines to a solid 16th-placed finish the following campaign.

In total, Critchley would average an impressive 1.52 points per game with Blackpool, compared to Beale’s 1.41 points per game with QPR, which suggests that he could be an upgrade on the new Rangers boss.

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Before his strange summer move, the former Liverpool academy coach was highly regarded by his players at the Lancashire club, with Chris Maxwell particularly complimentary last season.

He said: “His work ethic is second to none… hours and hours of endless drills… he will work behind the scenes and prepare sessions as well.

“I go back to a conversation I had with Gary Madine, and we said we feel like we’ve been taught how to play football wrong for the whole of our careers.”

The “fantastic” manager – as dubbed by Gerrard – was always likely to earn another job in the Championship after things went sour at Villa Park and if he can replicate his performance at Blackpool, with an arguably higher standard of squad at Loftus Road, then his appointment could prove to be a managerial masterclass.