Crucial stretch now upon QPR and Harry Redknapp

Inside Loftus Road

Every game is important for QPR at this stage of the season, but this next month will shape the run-in.

Harry Redknapp certainly helped settle QPR's defence upon arriving at the club, but it was horrifyingly unraveled when they lost 4-1 to Swansea three weeks ago.

Gone was the staunch backline which had kept clean sheets against Manchester City and Chelsea, and despite a spirited effort against Manchester United at the weekend they went down 2-0.

Now Redknapp is hoping they can draw a line under a run of tough fixtures, as they face several matches which are 'winnable', and they need to do just that if they are to drag themselves out of their mire.

QPR remain rooted bottom of the table on just 17 points, six below 19th place Reading.

In the next five games QPR face Southampton (a), Sunderland (h), Aston Villa (a), Fulham (a), Wigan (h).

The problem for QPR heading into this crucial run of games, against four relegation threatened teams and local rivals Fulham, is that their form is the worst in the division, one win in 10 games.

This is the time QPR need their big names to step up, the players who arrived on big reputations and have not so far produced. Park Ji-Sung, Jose Bosingwa and Esteban Granero, in addition to January new boys Christopher Samba and Loic Remy.

Redknapp even took the trouble to re-affirm yesterday that Bosingwa is fully committed to the cause after a public falling out in December, and it's an illustration of how the club really need all hands on deck heading into this crucial run of fixtures.

This really is when QPR need to pick up points, as their final three games of the season, tough fixtures against Arsenal, Newcastle, and Liverpool, will count for nothing if they can't start producing now.

Many will look at QPR's form and tendency to buckle throughout the season and consider they don't have much of a shot. Redknapp is a good manager but he isn't a miracle worker, as he experienced with Southampton back in 2005.

It's against his former club where he needs to begin that road to recovery, another loss won't be terminal, but it will make his task even more unenviable.

QPR fans, can you do it? Or do you fear the worst?


image: © Ben Sutherland

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