Reality bites for Hasselbaink and QPR

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is currently in the midst of his first tough spell in charge of Queens Park Rangers. The early promise of the first two games of the season, where Rangers were top with barely a shot, let alone a goal conceded, has quickly faded and the club are now languishing in the lower half of the Championship table.

Last week’s 6-0 home defeat, courtesy of a merciless Newcastle United, was the club’s biggest home loss in the league for almost a century.

This result was swiftly followed by another defeat, this time away to the impressive Huddersfield Town. What’s clear is that Hasselbaink and his players have some real work to do. The worst thing about the walloping by Newcastle was the manner in which they lost.

 - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Hasselbaink’s men have slipped to 16th in the league table following back-to-back defeats – Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

With the exception of one or two players, it was a display bereft of heart and effort. Yes, Newcastle are ridiculously well equipped for the Championship, but that’s not the point. It was a shocking game from an Rs fan’s perspective. It looked like the majority of the players were beaten before the tunnel.

You can say that Hasselbaink got it very wrong against Newcastle, but the players need to stand up and be counted. Although we’ve not spent as much of late, there is still enough talent in that squad to make a fair go of a league which isn’t all that great.

And yes Newcastle are a cut above most teams in the Championship, but 6-0 winners away from home….

To add to Hasselbaink’s woes, the Loftus Road crowd has become quite volatile in recent years, something that unfortunately Jimmy has mostly inherited. At half-time during the Blackburn Rovers game earlier this season, some sections of the home crowd booed the team off at the interval.

We weren’t even losing. People are entitled to their opinion, but what do they really expect from supporting QPR? Cup runs and regular days out at Wembley? Have the recent years of Premier League failure and flashing the cash made some fans believe that the club have a divine right to be in the top-flight. I hope not.

As I see it, the club’s current league position of 16th is almost a real reflection of where Queens Park Rangers stand in the order of things. There are plenty of bigger clubs in the Championship than us.

Perhaps these fans are just fed up of seeing the team get battered regularly which I empathise with, but there is just a feeling that we don’t really get behind the team as much as we used to.

ewcastle UnitedSteven Caulker of QPRPhoto: Charlotte Wilson

Defender Steven Caulker was part of the QPR defence that shipped six goals against Newcastle – Photo: Charlotte Wilson / Offside.

I’m under no illusions, much of what I’ve seen of QPR under Hasselbaink has been workmanlike, professional, but not hugely exciting or entertaining.

By and large, he has made the team fitter, more organised and until recently, harder to beat, all of which are good things. However, I think as a collective, the QPR faithful need to buck the trend of the modern day fan, show some patience and see what happens.

The state of flux that has surrounded the club for the past few years needs to end at some point. Who knows, perhaps by some miracle we’ll get back on track and beat Sunderland in the EFL Cup.

Unlikely, I know, but it would be typical QPR and that would be something to cheer about.
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