NEW QPR head coach Michael Beale – joined by director of football Les Ferdinand – met the media for the first time on Monday following the former's recent appointment.
A whole range of topics were discussed, including Beale’s preferred formation and what he feels is required for the R’s to have a successful season in 2022/23.
Here, we’ve detailed the best bits:
Michael Beale (MB): “We’re moving into Heston a year early, to get ready for the new building being ready – the new training ground was a big part of the discussions and a huge reason as to why I came here.
“The staff are back in on Monday and Tuesday, the players on Wednesday – most of whom I’ve already spoken to.
“Me and Les are busy talking about the squad and adding one or two more players. We’ve obviously added Jake [Clarke-Salter] and Kenneth [Paal] in the last few days.”
Les Ferdinand (LF): “We’re hoping that Michael can take things forward now. Mark [Warburton] was here and did a good job in moving the club forward. We just felt we needed to progress from there.
“We didn’t sack Mark, he just came to the end of his contract and we felt Michael was the best man to take us forward.
“The new training ground and everyone coming together has been long in the planning.
“It’s an important step. Michael is now coming into an environment where he can have an eye on the Under-23s and the Under-18s – all the players are going to be here and it’s going to be a fantastic facility when it’s finished.
“Being on the same site will only serve the club well going forward.”
MB: “I’m hugely excited by the opportunity. It’s going to be a challenge, you have to fight for every single point in the Championship.
“In the last 12-18 months, there have been a lot of opportunities for me. This one just felt different, straight from the off.
“It’s nice to be coming home to London and I looked at the squad last year and felt that there was a little bit of what I believe in.
“The discussions between myself and the board were extensive over a short period of time and I have to say that Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa were absolutely fantastic to me during that period as well, which went a long way to making the transition here a smooth one.
“It was difficult to leave Steven’s management team because of the decent human being he is and because we had such a strong partnership.
“But I’d always been honest in the fact that I wanted to be a manager or head coach one day. It was all about the opportunity – he was very understanding.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me at a really exciting time for this football club.”
Transfers & loan market
MB: “I’ve seen a little bit about that (calling in favours from clubs Beale has worked at previously) – I’m not guaranteed favours from anyone! In football, everyone has to do what is right for their own players and club.
“It’s also important that we have players here at QPR who are invested in our future.
“For instance, for any players who we’ll look to bring on loan, is there an option for them to stay here longer term?
“QPR isn’t necessarily going to be a holding ground for loan players to develop, but we will use the loan market as a when needed.
“The two transfers we’ve done already are boys who have been at big clubs previously. They’re at a ripe age to kick on here and we have a group of players here mostly aged 22 to 24 who we think can develop to the next level.
“We’ll all be busy trying to fulfil that potential.”
MB: “The first two parts of last season were extremely positive [for QPR]. I think the team impressed themselves and became a real contender to make the play-offs.
“Unfortunately, Covid, injuries and different things impacted the second half of the season.
“Without being directly involved, only one team had less points than us over the last 16 games. That was Barnsley who got relegated.
“I have no set aims until we get working with the group. What’s important is that we fight for every point and are competitive. Then we’ll see how things go.
“We’ve got a young squad with some really talented players. They will have learned a lot from last season.
“Hopefully that, coupled with the energy and ideas from new players and a new management team coming in can kick us on.
“We’re certainly looking upwards and not behind our shoulders coming in – but I’m not going to make any claims just yet.”
MB: “It’s about finding the system that suits our players and gets the best ones on the ball in the right areas.
“Clubs being able to make five subs in the Championship next season will make things interesting. I think we’ll see a lot of tactical changes from teams in games.
“The Jake Clarke-Salter signing gives us the flexibility between playing a back three and a back four.
“We’re excited by that. With young Jimmy Dunne and Rob Dickie, we feel we have a real strong centre-half department, with one or two young players coming on behind those.
“We’ll see how things pan out in pre-season.”
Chair & Willock
MB: “They’re two players I looked at and thought I’d be really excited to come in and work with every day.
“That’s a big thing when you get out of bed in the morning, it’s important that there are players you ae ere excited to work with.
“They’re two of a number of players who I am looking forward to working with.”
LF: “At the moment we’re in discussions with Albert.
“Hopefully we’ll come to a conclusion in terms of a new contract for him by Wednesday.”