FIRST Team Coach Marc Bircham says this weekend's west London derby with Brentford is the ideal fixture for QPR to bounce back following five consecutive defeats.
Bircham remains positive about finishing the season well and insists that victory will guarantee Ian Holloway’s side a place in the division next year.
Speaking after Monday's narrow 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, Bircham told www.qpr.co.uk that the players know the significance of Saturday’s trip to Griffin Park.
“We know how important the game is on Saturday to both sets of fans. For us there’s no better game to bounce back than Brentford away.
"They (the players) know what it means, believe me they know. They experienced the importance of a west London derby against Fulham and know how important it is.
"Not only that but we need one more win to make sure we are playing in this league next year – it’s a massive game.”
Whilst Bircham knows that results have been poor of late, he’s taking encouragement from the performances but acknowledges that the team needs to stop conceding soft goals.
“The biggest disappointment is that we are so close to getting it right, which in a way is a good thing but also makes it frustrating," he added. "We look at our home games Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield, Brighton and away at Aston Villa – we can’t say we were unlucky but we should be getting something out of all of them.
“Alex Smithies has hardly had any saves to make in the last few months which is a good thing for us as it shows we are controlling matches. But as soon as teams attack we are conceding with the first or second chance and that’s a really bad habit to have and something we need to change quickly.
"To win games you can’t let the opposition have easy goals. We don’t seem to get any – it should be hard to score a goal at this level!”
Bircham insists that there is still a positive feeling around Harlington despite recent results and that it only takes a small change of luck to see things change. He says that the players, more than anyone, want to show just how much they want a victory on Saturday.
“There’s a great feeling about our place" he said. "I know no one believes me but I said it after we had lost six in a row in December. The players believe in what we are doing and know we aren’t far off – they are determined to show that we mean business on Saturday.”
The former R's midfielder continued: “I’d love a game where we nick a goal and sit on it, we’ve not had that this season – every game we’ve won we’ve deserved to with the exception maybe being Wolves away.
"I think that can be the difference next year if we can become more of a steely side and win those games where maybe we don’t deserve it.
"But there’s no point in talking about that now because we need a win to guarantee our league status and we want that at Griffin Park.”