With the Championship champions due at the DW Stadium on Saturday I met up with Vital QPR editor Boxer for a brew, some rich tea creams and a little chat, here’s how it all went:
worbo – First of all welcome to Vital Towers Boxer, nice to meet up with you and secondly welcome to the Premier League, this will be your first season in the top flight for a while, are you excited or is that an understatement?
Boxer – I think we were all pleasantly surprised by the campaign last season, and I think the gravity of stepping up to the Premier League was kindly highlighted by Bolton on the opening day.
The excitement throughout the summer was fantastic, tinged with disappointment over some of the board-room decision making, but nevertheless it had been a long time coming as you mentioned, so the anticipation and excitement was palpable.
worbo – New owner at the helm, how pleased are you that its finally sorted and do you think that Fernades will back Warnock with enough cash to buy some quality players, also theres talk of a reduction in admission prices to Loftus Road, an owner with some sense?
Boxer – I was delighted by this news. Mr Briatore and Mr Ecclestone did put money in firstly at the beginning and then to meet the running costs of the club, but unfortunately had a disregard for the club’s ethos, supporters and history.
Making QPR into a ’boutique club’ in his words – I don’t think was a prudent move at all. In honesty while it may be nice for him to flog cashmere jumpers in fine surroundings – it felt a million miles away for us as supporters, who seemed a tad incidental and sometimes more of a nuisance to his plans.
Mr Fernandes and more importantly Mr Bhatia have restored the respect with immediate effect. Bhatia is somebody the supporters would look to under the previous regime as the voice of common sense and reason on behalf of supporters – his subsequent resignation therefore was a bleak day for many of the fans.
Reducing season ticket prices was an immense step in rebuilding the trust that had been tarnished somewhat, and promising Warnock money to spend could be crucial to Rangers’ survival aspirations.
worbo – My hopes for the Latics this season are a comfortable mid-table finish and a run in one of the cups and you know what I can see it coming off, as for QPR I hope you stay up, but, as you have just said there is a big step in class from the Championship to the Premier League, so I see a tough second half of the season for you, though I do feel you will survive, just.
What do you see happening for both clubs in the coming nine months?
Boxer – I think it’s a positive thing for Wigan to have aspirations of a mid-table finish, and while Martinez is a builder, he is a slow builder. He will be given time by Dave Whelan – one of the last bastions of sensible chairman – but I expect mid-way through bottom half to be where the Latics will reside.
As for QPR, you know my response to this question – fourth from bottom would be perfect thank you very much! We need to just get a foot-hold in this league and hopefully additions over the coming days can help supplement this ambition.
worbo – If I had to pick out a danger man from the Latics it would be Victor Moses, he’ll rip you apart if he’s on song, a superb talent, fast, direct, great control and he can shoot.
As for QPR I am looking forward to seeing Adel Taarabt and if he can carry his form from last season through into the Premier League.
Which two danger men would you pick from the Latics and QPR?
Boxer – If he plays you cannot question the ability of Hugo Rodallega. The skill and craft of the striker has impressed me in recent years and the potential is there for him to step up to the rigours of European football.
Of course I cannot dispute the talent of Victor Moses, a player that Warnock will know only too well having given him his chance in the first team at Crystal Palace. If those two are on song, our defence will need to be at its best.
Rangers meanwhile have some potential match-winners of their own. While Taarabt will rightfully draw the plaudits, others like DJ Campbell are more than capable of upsetting the opposition and scoring crucial goals.
worbo – Our boss Roberto Martinez is a young forward thinking manager that is focused on building a club rather than just a team, he is the real deal without a doubt, your guy, Neil Warnock has been around the block a couple of times but he is a character, what do the QPR fans think of Warnock, is he the man to keep you up and can he take you forward?
Boxer – Without question he is the man to take us forward and I would say at this point that this is the unanimous verdict of the QPR fans. He did what no other seemed to be able to, blend a talented squad, add some steel and gain promotion.
Should the worst happen and Rangers get relegated, who better to bring us straight back? If he gets the backing of the board then I can foresee him ushering QPR clear of the drop zone.
worbo – Right Boxer down to business, a prediction, we are due a win after the last two games that we’ve squandered enough chances to have won comfortably, if we can carry creating like we have we are going to batter someone 1-0, that’s what I am going for, a 1-0 home win for the Latics, how do you see it?
Boxer – A fair point, and if you’re creating chances then the goals will come. If we defend like we did against Everton we can shut you out, but I think it’s more likely we’ll have to net twice to secure victory. A slender 2-1 win with Campbell and Bothroyd netting for Rangers.
worbo – A big thanks to Boxer for the chat and the insight into QPR
There is an article by QPR fans giving their views on Wigan Athletic, it can be read here
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