Rangers eye away day joy
QUEENS Park Rangers will be looking for their first victory on the road this season when facing Barnsley in tonight’s fixture at Oakwell.
Whilst the R’s are unbeaten at home, Holloway’s side have picked up just one point away from W12 this term and both players and the manager agree that this is an area that needs to be improved on.
Rangers drew a blank in the last league game against Burton Albion but see this, and the big derby against Fulham in front of the SkySports cameras on Friday night, as two great opportunities for the side to go into the second international break of the season in a good position.
Having come up from League One, Barnsley performed excellently last season to not only secure their status in the division but end in a comfortable mid-table position.
But they have struggled at the start of this campaign - picking up just one league win all season and they are situated just outside the relegation zone at this relatively early stage of the campaign. Last weekend they deserved a point against Wolves at Molineux but conceded a late goal in stoppage time meaning they left the Midlands with nothing to show for it.
Barnsley may have had a difficult few months but it’s important to put some context into their position. The week before Christmas 2015 they were bottom of League One and very much looked like they could be heading to the fourth tier of English football - a place they had not been since the early 1980s.
However, the arrival of Heckingbottom in February saw him remarkably guide the Tykes to the play-offs where they overcame Millwall to gain promotion to the Championship.
It’s fair to say that playing in this division did not faze the South Yorkshire club at all. Their attacking style of play gained many plaudits which also led to interest in their players from other clubs. Their talisman in midfield Conor Hourihane left for Aston Villa in the January market and their top goalscorer Sam Winnall also departed for Sheffield Wednesday. This meant they lost much of the momentum they had picked up throughout the campaign and ultimately ended any chance of the play-offs.
There was further disappointment for the Barnsley faithful last summer when Josh Scowen decided to swap Yorkshire for London - much to the delight of everyone at QPR.
They did, however, manage to bring in 12 players during the transfer window as Heckingbottom looks to rebuild a team that have come such a long way in the last 18 months. Jason McCarthy - a defender signed from Southampton - and Joe Williams, a midfielder brought in on loan from Everton, are two who have impressed in the first few games of the season.
In this fixture last year it was ironically Josh Scowen who hit a 91st minute winner to give Barnsley a 3-2 win in what was a topsy turvy evening at Oakwell in which Rangers had come from behind to lead 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining thanks to penalties from Tjaronn Chery and Seb Polter.
When and Where?
Tuesday, 26th September 2017 - Kick-off 19:45
Last Time Out
Queens Park Rangers made it four wins in five Championship games with a convincing victory over Barnsley.
QPR's top scorer Idrissa Sylla gave the R’s the lead early on, touching in Yeni Ngbakoto's cross.
Barnsley's Angus MacDonald turned into his own net after the break before Tom Bradshaw rounded Alex Smithies after a rare Grant Hall error to make it 2-1 but QPR deservedly held on for an important three points
- QPR have won seven of their last eight games against Barnsley in all competitions
- Only Birmingham and Bolton (6) have lost more matches than Barnsley in the Championship this season (5)
- Rangers have kept just one clean sheet in their last ten league games away from home
Ian Holloway: "Barnsley have lost a lot of their players but they are still playing well so it’s a great challenge for us."
Paul Heckingbottom: “QPR are difficult to play against, they don't mind upsetting the opposition and ruining their rhythm, they'll try the same here.”
QPR: Nedum Onuoha (hamstring), James Perch (knee) and Grant Hall (tendonitis) remain out, while Lynch and Caulker are available again. Jordan Cousins has stepped up his recovery from a torn hamstring but won’t be involved tonight after featuring for the U23s at Watford yesterday afternoon. Idrissa Sylla (knee) and Matt Smith (foot) are doubts, while it is hoped Mass Luongo (illness) will be available after missing Saturday’s game.
Barnsley: Brad Potts is a doubt for this game due to a swollen ankle and means a spot could open up for Ryan Hedges or Harvey Barnes in midfield. Lloyd Isgrove, Gary Gardner and Andy Yiadom all miss out through long term injuries.
Geoff Eltringham: Given out 33 yellow cards in ten games this season.