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Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship

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Championship Pulse Check: QPR – things going well under new manager Beale!

The international break gives us the perfect chance to check in with our fellow championship clubs to see how they’ve been faring so far. We had the crack with Ben from W12 Podcast to find out what’s happening at QPR.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

QPR. 6th P10 W4 D3 L3 Pts 15

QPR are level on points with Sunderland and won, drawn and lost exactly the same number of games as we have, too. So how are things going in West London under the stewardship of new manager Mick Beale? We spoke with Ben from W12 Podcast to find out.

What’s gone well for you so far this season?

There is always that worry when you get a new manager at any point, but when this is your managers first job, it’s an even bigger gamble. Early days, but Mick Beale is currently doing a a really good job. His philosophy on how he wants us to play is clearly being bought into by players and that is evident on the pitch. As well as that he seems to learn quickly, which is the benefit of having someone actually learning, as oppose to an experienced manager who is more stuck in their ways - which we have had plenty of. Ilias Chair and Chris Willock are absolutely imperative to us doing well, and so far this season they have been excellent! Both needed to step it up notch this season and, so far, they certainly have. Willock with 5 goals in 7 games and Chair with 3 goals and 5 assists in 10.

Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road
Beale’s gotten off to a good start in charge at QPR
Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images

And what’s not gone so well?

If you had asked me a week or so ago I would have definitely said our defending. We couldn’t buy a clean sheet, no matter how much we dominated games. However, two clean sheets in a row last week against Stoke and Millwall has meant, maybe, just maybe, we have turned a corner. Aside from that I’d say our strikers are a worry, to put that into context our keeper has as many league goals as our current strike force (sorry). Seny Dieng 1, Lyndon Dykes, Macaulay Bonne and Tyler Roberts 1. Feels strange that I’m saying our defending and strikers haven’t gone well but we are currently sat 6th.

Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship
Dieng has as many goals as QPR’s strikers each have
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Who’s been your standout player so far?

Ilias Chair (just). He had a really good preseason, which he has taken into this season. When he is “at it” he is unplayable in this league and with Chris Willock back, at times this season it’s like watching two kids playing in the local park having a laugh. If we can get to 20 goals/assists this season out of him then that will show some real progression.

He is now in the Moroccan squad too, which I think he helping his development.

Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light
Chair has been in impressive form - as we witnessed at the SoL
Photo by Will Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Who’s not quite been at the races?

Lyndon Dykes. It’s a shame as we all want him to be the striker he could be and has shown signs of. However, he just can’t get going, missing several open goals and clear chances (we would be in the top two had they gone in). That said, he works hard and does a lot of the doggy work for Chair and Willock to do their damage….but you need your striker scoring goals, that’s what you buy them for.

Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
Dykes has struggled for for this year
Photo by Ian Randall/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How’s the general feeling regarding your manager?

Happy, like I said above, he is learning on the job but knows how he wants us to play. We have had a terrible injury list this season so far, so when they start returning Beale should have a good squad of players there to push on this season. One point that I really like about him is his honesty, he isn’t afraid to call out the team or players, which has actually seen an improvement in 2/3 players. Too many times under Warburton we heard the same PC answers every week, when as fans all you want is a bit of reassurance that the manager knows what went wrong or might need changing. Solid 8/10, so far. But we all know football can change quickly (last season’s mindset kicking in there).

Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
8/10 so far...
Photo by Ian Randall/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Where did you think you’d finish before the season started, and has that changed?

3rd-16th. We could easily finish anywhere within those positions. A top 10 finish is where I think we will finish - which has changed slightly.

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Loftus Road
Jack Clarke had an unsuccessful loan spell with QPR
Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

And finally, what’s your impression of Sunderland been so far?

Yes, been impressed. We were very lucky to get a point up there earlier in the season. Been impressed with Jack Clarke, who was with us a couple of season ago and wasn’t very good at all. The front two look very handy too, really like that Simms. Mowbray offers Championship experience and is a good manager at this level. I think a top 10 finish is more than possible for you guys too.


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