Thursday, 3 April 2014

Match Preview: Cherry Chimes chats to Lofty Heights

Match Preview
Blogger Interview - Lofty Heights

Cherry Chimes speaks to Tony Gibson of the Lofty Heights blog and gets his views on the season so far and views on QPR's owner who continues to fund the club strongly in his ambitions to get the club back into the Premiership.

CC: Harry has not been his happy, smiling, self of late but do you think he could have made better decisions to keep QPR on winning ways in 2014?

LH: To be honest, he never seems happy and it has become more and more noted by QPR fans. His body language in the dugout, well, he couldn’t look more disinterested. We see opposing managers standing constantly in their technical area where as Harry spends most of his time sat down, with Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan doing the leg work. As for decisions, I don’t think these loans have helped to cover our injuries with up and coming youngsters dotted around the Football League. He recruited 4 strikers in January on loan, one of which looks up to the job, Kevin Doyle, who incidentally is now injured and has gone back to Wolves. Will Keane from Manchester United does not look in any way a United player and has struggled at this level. Brazilian Dellatore has only featured for Elite Development Squad and as for Modibo Maiga, well, if Sam Allardyce would rather play with no strikers than Maiga, it must say something? Unfortunately, it has been proved that Big Sam was more than justified in his actions.

CC: I hate to say it but if QPR don't get promoted should Redknapp be sacked?

LH: Personally, I would say no after many years of constant upheaval, but if this is the case that we do not go up, I think he will go yes, or will walk.

CC: Are you worried that Tony Fernandes may soon decide that he has to stop throwing money at QPR?

LH: Of course it’s a big worry, but his Social Media activities suggest he is in it for the long haul and it is a long term project, so I guess we have to remain positive and put our trust in Tony. He has made mistakes yes but he is standing by them.

CC: Do you think QPR would be in serious financial trouble if they don't get promotion this time around?

LH: With the backing we have from Fernandes and the Mittal Family, I would say no, but I think next season would be very different in regards to outgoings etc

CC: Would you fancy your chances in the play-offs having just beaten Wigan?

LH: I never wanted the play offs following our defeat to Cardiff many years ago. But I have to say, if we could get Charlie Austin back and firing in time, we would have a great chance!

CC: Was QPR's spell of below par form just due to Charlie Austin being out of the team?

LH: Of course yes, but in fairness, it wasn’t just Charlie. We have lost Danny Simpson, Matty Phillips and Ale Faurlin to long term injuries. Take that sort of quality out of any team and they are going to struggle.

CC: Who do you think would be the first names out of Loftus Road in the summer if you stay in the Championship?

LH: That’s a tough one as we are still very much off loading players from last season. Overall, I think the squad is very settled now. But I do hate to say this, I think if we were to stay down, we may well and unfortunately, see Joey Barton leave. Rob Green also as I think he is out of contract, I maybe wrong on that though.

CC: QPR are still getting results at home, it looks like it's the away from that is costing your team so do you think there is a problem playing away?

LH: Not really no, just think it has been a lack of fire power and having no Plan B has cost us away from home at times. If we have gone in front, Harry often just likes to shut up shop and take what we have rather than go hell for leather for the win. Our defeat at Doncaster was a classic example.

CC: What do you most like about Ravel Morrison?

LH: His confidence, he always wants the ball and when he has it, it only leaves his feet when he says it does. A real talent and definitely a star in the making.

CC: What has the support has been like for QPR this season?

LH: It’s been a bit of a mixed bag really with many frustrations on the pitch leading to many angry frustrations in the stands between our own supporters. Despite relegation, home crowds are healthy and often sold out and the away support is generally very good. The fact the Championship is somewhat cheaper than the Premier League has been a big appeal after last season.

CC: Have you been surprised by Bournemouth's league position this season?

LH: To be honest, no. The same happened to QPR when we were promoted to the Championship in the Holloway years. Teams who play good football often fair well in the Championship which is an excellent league. What I have been impressed with by Bournemouth is that you play, good, attractive, passing football and despite being defeated at Loftus Road earlier this season, I think just good finishing on the night was the difference between the 2 sides.

CC: QPR beat Bournemouth quite easily at Loftus Road earlier in the season but do you expect a harder game this time around at the Goldsands stadium?

LH: Most definitely yes. Your home form has been exceptional since the turn of the year. Including a draw with Burnley and only a narrow defeat against Leicester shows you can be a match for anyone and it will certainly be a very tough game. The 4-1 defeat of Leeds last week was certainly the eye catching result in the Division. There can often be a case where a team sneaks into the Play Offs following a good, late run and having looked at the table and see just a 7 point gap between you and 6th place, who says it can’t be Bournemouth?

CC: After the Birmingham game the gap has closed to five points for AFCB on the top six and indeed the Cherries are having a great season. Any ambitions of a high finish will be tested on Saturday by a QPR team that is very experienced and full of quality players. I think many of our supporters will hope for great things but if it doesn't happen for the Cherries there should not be any disappointment, because the team has performed fantastically even to get into the position it is now in. It should be a cracking game. Please have a read of  Lofty Heights' blog to see more on the form of QPR and their latest news, where Tony talks about the Hoops recent draw with Blackpool and much more.

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