THE QPR players will be well versed on just how important this weekend’s game against Fulham is, says boss Ian Holloway.
The R’s gaffer understands the club’s fans better than most – and he aims to make sure his squad know what derby fixtures mean to the supporters who will be packing in to Loftus Road on Saturday.
“I’ll be telling the players what a local derby means to our fans,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“The truth is, I want our players to play like it’s a local derby every single week. We’re going to have to do that if we want to get anything out of this division.”
Holloway has overseen three consecutive league victories for the R’s and, two months on from his return to the dugout, he continues to feel fortunate to be in a position to shape the future of a club which means so much to him.
“This is a very special place and to have worked so hard as I did before to stop it going out of business, I feel very privileged to be here to try to take it to the next level,” he said.
“The way to do that is to get the right people and get value for money out of those people.
“It’s long-term targets that I’m concerned about – getting people here who want to be here, work hard and fight for the badge.
“If we can get those things right then I am sure we will get to where I want us to be, and that’s higher up the table.”
Jamie Mackie, who scored the winner in our victory at Reading eight days ago, is expected to start against the Cottagers, and he’s a player who epitomises everything Holloway wants in his side.
“He’s a fantastic professional and I am very fortunate to turn up just as he was getting fit,” said the R’s chief.
“For him to hit the ground running like he has is down to his professionalism. The boy is a fantastic example for others.”
Holloway also had words of praise for Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic, who has guided his team to eighth in the table.
“I think their manager deserves a massive pat on the back for the way he has got a young squad going and playing well,” Holloway said.
“This is going to be a very big test for us but we’ll be trying to make it four wins in a row.”