- Les Ferdinand reflects on January transfer window
- QPR signed three players - Conor Washington, Matt Ingram and Nasser El Khayati
- Ferdinand is determined to return club to what it once was
LES Ferdinand was a busy man in January. Largely responsible for the club’s transfer activity, QPR’s Director of Football admits the ‘outs’ were as critical to him as the ‘ins.’
It’s fair to say that hasn’t always been the case at Loftus Road in recent years. But if the club want to get back to what it once was, Ferdinand says the current process is a vital one.
Over the course of the January transfer window, QPR added Conor Washington from League One’s Peterborough United, Matt Ingram from Wycombe Wanderers in League Two, and Nasser El Khayati, who joined from Burton Albion, also in League One.
HERE TO PROGRESS: Conor Washington joined QPR during the January transfer window
Meanwhile, Charlie Austin signed for Southampton in the Premier League, while Sandro (West Brom) and Leroy Fer (Swansea) completed loan moves to the top flight.
Steven Caulker was recalled from his loan at St Mary’s to join Liverpool until the end of the season.
There were also loan moves for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (MK Dons), Michael Doughty (Swindon), Brandon Comley (Carlisle United), Ben Gladwin (Bristol City) and Darnell Furlong (Cambridge United).
“We lost a few and didn’t bring in too many but, in terms of where the club is and where we need it to be, we are heading in the right direction,” Ferdinand told www.qpr.co.uk.
READY TO STEP UP: Nasser El Khayati joined from League One side Burton Albion
“In some cases, moving players out – be it permanently or on loan – was just as important to us as the players we brought in.
“From a fan’s perspective, you probably don’t want to see your most expensive signings leave, but because of what we are trying to do here, it was important that we moved these players on if we could.”
As a player at QPR, Ferdinand’s role was to score goals and make the fans happy. Now he is focusing on doing what is right for the club in the long-term, and readily accepts the decisions required to get there won’t always be welcomed by those same supporters who used to sing his name.
“I can’t just look at the here-and-now,” he explained. “I have to look beyond that, at the future of this club. That matters more.
“Financial Fair Play is playing a part in what we are doing, and the way we’re moving forward. The simple fact is, we can’t go out and spend big amounts. If balancing the books means we have to make some unpopular decisions, then we will do that. But any decision we make is in the best interests of this football club.”
SAFE HANDS: Matt Ingram signed for QPR from League Two outfit Wycombe Wanderers
There is a common theme which connects the acquisitions of Washington, Ingram and El Khayati – none of them have ever played at Championship level. But with that, says Ferdinand, comes a desire to succeed.
“We want players here who are hungry to do well,” he added. “I have spoken before about players who were here for the wrong reasons in the past, and we want to get away from that.
“We have been seen by some as a bit of a payday, rather than those players wanting to come here and help advance the football club.
“The decisions we are making now will help us bring people here who want to progress and improve with QPR.
“It bothers me what’s happened here in recent years.
“I’ve spoken with people before who used to come and watch Queens Park Rangers play, even though they weren’t supporters, because they knew they would see a committed, good, footballing team. We had that reputation for years, but in recent times we have been seen as a bit of a glamour club.
“We need to change that and get back to what we were and what we know.”
See also ...