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Five conclusions about QPR after Blackburn stalemate

Rangers frustrated at home, where did it go wrong for Harry Redknapp's side?

QPR need to start home matches at a higher tempo

It is often said that if you start games slowly it is difficult to up your game, and so it proved for Rangers against Blackburn. QPR were untidy and careless in the first half, and although they improved as the game wore on, it took them far too long to impose themselves on the contest. The Hoops need to start home games at a higher tempo and not allow visiting teams to get a foot-hold.

Tom Carroll struggles playing in a 4-4-2 system

Carroll had a difficult game against Blackburn, putting in arguably his worst performance since joining on loan from Spurs. Playing in a five-man midfield, with Carroll as one of a central three, takes the pressure off the youngster when he is in possession. Saturday’s display suggested that Carroll may struggle playing alongside one other in central midfield, and he was lucky that Joey Barton put in such a good performance.

Redknapp’s double substitution did not pay off

Redknapp took off his two most dangerous attacking players, Matt Phillips and Junior Hoilett, just before the hour mark. The wingers had been QPR’s two most threatening players, but were replaced by Niko Kranjcar and Gary O’Neil as Redknapp opted to play narrower through the middle in a bid to pick apart the Rovers defence. It never really worked and the afternoon ended in frustration for the home side.

It’s only getting harder – and QPR need to improve

It is all very well winning home games against Bournemouth and Charlton, but QPR will need to improve significantly for some tough tests to come. Next weekend’s trip to Blackpool is followed by a home game against fellow promotion-chasers Leicester, before away games at NottinghamForest and Watford. Those matches will provide a stern test of QPR’s promotion credentials, and sloppy performances like the one on Saturday will surely be punished.

Pressure on Benayoun

Assistant manager Kevin Bond said after the game that QPR had completed the signing of midfielder Yossi Benayoun, and the former Chelsea man will almost certainly be thrust straight into action as Redknapp looks for extra creativity. Rangers fans will be hoping that the 33-year-old has something to offer, and that QPR are not simply five years too late to his signature…

image: © joncandy

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