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10:22 30th April 2013

by @OfficialQPR

R’s first team coach says relegation is tough to take

Joe Jordan was frank in his assessment of QPR today as the club begins preparations for life in the Championship next season.

A goalless draw at Reading over the weekend saw both sides succumb to relegation from the Premier League, and the R’s first team coach told “I don’t feel any better or any worse than all the supporters who were at the game on Sunday. 

“We have got supporters all over the county who have tried to enjoy their football, although I don’t think they will have enjoyed it on Sunday. But they do support the club. 

“It’s a difficult one to accept but unfortunately it is mathematically out of our hands now.

“We have got to get on with the task of completing the season, try to get something from it and then prepare for the campaign next year.”

Harry Redknapp arrived in November after the R’s had picked up four points from their opening 13 games. 

A run of form which included back-to-back wins against Southampton and Sunderland saw QPR head to Aston Villa in March knowing victory would see them move within a solitary point of safety.

Jermaine Jenas gave Rangers a first-half lead but the afternoon ended in disappointment with the hosts winning 3-2.

“You look at different chapters of the season and that’s one where you can reflect on how things could have been different,” Jordan said, “but I don’t think where we stand at this moment in time hinged on that.”

The R’s were seven points adrift of safety and winless when Redknapp arrived, alongside Kevin Bond and Jordan. The challenge of staving off relegation was always going to be tough. 

“It’s quite a handicap,” Jordan said, in reference to the winless streak. “To achieve something like that (stay up) you have got to show incredible consistency to catch up. There was a lot of catching up that had to be done. 

“And when you have gone that number of games without a win, there’s a psychological effect it has on players. You have to break that barrier, and it did take us a few games to do that.

“But we didn’t win enough games. There were games which we drew, where I thought deservedly, against big clubs but maybe in that moment in time we didn’t have the forward players that we would have liked to have used throughout the games. You’re looking to score goals to win games and at that moment in the season I thought we were at a bit of a disadvantage.

“You can talk about the period of games around Fulham, Wigan, you can talk about the back-to-back wins, but you’ve got to look at it over the season. It’s not about one or two games. Over 38 games you have got to show consistency and a lot of other things as well. Unfortunately we haven’t done that.”

Rangers will be battling to bounce back at the first attempt next season, but Jordan echoed the views of Redknapp, who said after Sunday’s game that making an immediate return would be no mean feat.

“It’s a huge challenge,” said Jordan. “If you look at the clubs that are in it, that will give you an indication of how difficult it is. There are a number of clubs that have got history and tradition, a number of clubs that have tasted the Premier League in recent years, clubs that have failed in their quest to get out of there. 

“Whether they have been there for one or two seasons or more, or the clubs that went directly down and have looked to come straight back up, there’s a huge amount of clubs that have failed to do that.

“It gives you an indication of how hard it is going to be.”

Before life in the Championship begins, Rangers have three Premier League matches to contend with, starting at home to Arsenal this weekend.

And despite the obvious disappointment that exists at Harlington this week, Jordan says the squad is determined to end the campaign as strongly as possible.

“There is a desire to finish the season as well as we can, without a doubt,” he said. “You’re looking at that habit of winning and unfortunately this season we’ve not had that. 

“We’ve got a huge game against Arsenal at home and we want to give the supporters something to cheer about. Hopefully we can get a positive result and a good performance, and then we will look at Newcastle and Liverpool.

“But we will focus on the Arsenal game now. It’s a big game where maybe we can get a little bit of pride back.”

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