Hello all and welcome back to match day at the Madejski. Last weekend saw arguably one of the most respectable results we have had all season, albeit ultimately one of the most frustrating. A point away at Brentford should not be regarded as a bad result by any means and most of us certainly would have taken it at 2:50 on Saturday afternoon. For the first time in what has felt like an awfully long time, we appeared to want to get a result by any means necessary. We battled, we disrupted Brentford’s rhythm and we played dirty. This may not be of huge satisfaction to any supporters dreaming of a return to the brain-numbing possession obsession (try saying that after four pints) we saw under Stam. We showed a reluctance to roll over and admit defeat which especially in a game like Brentford away, we may have seen earlier this season following an early setback. I think it could really be a turning point.
Up next we host the lowest scoring team in the division QPR. They have struggled for much of this season, with no player scoring more than two goals this campaign. In fact, they have scored the same amount of goals all season that West Brom managed against them back in August. Much like us however they have ground out some good results, such as the victory against Millwall and Bolton home and away respectively. Who is their danger man however? For me, it’s Luke Freeman. A man who interested high flying Boro in the summer, Freeman’s industrious, hard working nature mixed in with real technical ability on the ball means he is a threat from the centre of the park. It’ll be important to quell the threat of Freeman should we wish to limit the amount of clear cut chances provided for the front men. Although they haven’t scored much this season, the acquisitions of two quality forwards in Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells has always added to their available firepower and I’m sure as the season progresses not many fans would be surprised to see one or both of them at the top of the scoring charts for the West London side. Eze is another hungry forward full of pace and trickery that needs to be monitored closely by the back line tonight. QPR do seem to struggle most when they’re behind so I think it is of vital importance we take the game to them straight away and do not allow them to settle. Should we get an early goal, the prospect of a home win will certainly become a more likely one. As for the manager, we have Steve Mclaren. I’m not going to write a huge amount here because most football fans have a clear opinion on the former England manager. Joining the illustrious company of Mark Hughes, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew – I believe Mclaren is a man who is seen by many chairman’s as a ‘safe option’ who ‘knows the league’ despite failing in the majority of recent roles. All to often we see young exciting managers turned down in favour of these sorts of managers, who have the ‘experience’ to ‘do a job’ but regularly fail to make any real impact on their new roles. Don’t be surprised to see Mclaren follow suit and spend less than 18 months at QPR, before moving on to making no meaningful impression in his next role. Just a hunch though. But Steve, I’ve still not forgiven you for the Croatia defeat at Wembley.
Predictions time and although I didn’t manage to get one of these articles out on the weekend (mainly due to the fact I was 220 miles away from Berkshire) I did get my prediction right! So, let’s go for 2 out of 2. Although this will have no influence on the eventual result, it’s clear that the whatever I say goes (okay, it has once – go with it) so I’m going to call an optimistic 2-0 win, with Bod and Barrow on the scoresheet!