Ollie: This is going to be one hell of a game!

IAN Holloway is expecting “one hell of a game” for what will be his 300th in charge of QPR.

The R’s boss, who previously managed the club between 2001 and 2006 prior to his return in 2016, told www.qpr.co.uk ahead of tonight’s milestone against Sheffield United: “I was proud to be manager of this club for just one game, so I’m bursting with pride to reach this point.

“This is also the best club I ever played for at the highest level I ever played at in the Premier League.

“All I want to do is help the club.”

Rangers prepare for the arrival of the league leaders having beaten Wolves – who were top of the Championship this time last week – and Holloway said: “I have been saying for a while that the boys deserved a reward for their recent performances and they haven’t been getting it, but they got it on Saturday with the three points.

“It could have gone either way but I felt that performance says everything about this group at the moment – they really do have a belief in themselves.

“They kept going. They had to withstand some good play from Wolves, and they did that and overcame it. In the end, I felt we deserved to come away with that result.”

Rangers took the lead through Conor Washington before Leo Bonatini levelled for the visitors. The game seemed to be heading for a draw before Matt Smith grabbed the winner with nine minutes remaining.

And it was the character his team showed which gave Holloway most satisfaction.

“I have always been a person in life who keeps going and keeps going,” he said. “I don’t ever stop. And I believe my team is starting to do that too.

“We are starting to show resilience and we are going to need that tonight.”

This evening Chris Wilder brings his team to west London full of confidence.

After winning League One last season, the Blades are now top of the Championship, and Holloway said: "They have been under-performing as a club for years and years, and it’s no coincidence that a Blades supporter has taken over and got them heading in the right direction.

“The way they play is a credit to him. They are attack minded and he deserves enormous credit for the way he goes about things.

“They are almost fearless in how they play and I think it’s going to be one hell of a game.”

Holloway will be forced to make at least one change tonight after Joel Lynch picked up his fifth booking of the season in our win over Wolves – but the R’s chief has no intention of moving away from his front-foot philosophy.

“I’d like to have picked the same team again after Saturday but I can’t do,” he said. “But when you look at what I have done I think people will definitely be looking forward to a very exciting game.

“That’s all I can say. I want to try and fight fire with fire. I thoroughly enjoyed the way my lads got at Wolves and we are going to need to do the same again.”

Washington will be hoping to keep his place in the side after his goal-scoring exploits against Wolves, which came on the back of a run of three games on the bench.

And Holloway added: “Conor is a goalscorer. He’s a tremendous athlete and I thought his goal against Wolves was absolutely sensational.

“It looked like he wasn’t going to get there but his feet are so light and happy, he made it. He is desperate to be in the team, he is desperate to score goals and he is desperate to be a top striker.

“Pawel Wszolek never stops running, and in training Conor has set himself a target of out-running him. It’s a tremendous way to react.”

As Holloway continues to build the club and the spirit within the squad, he has been delighted with the way in which his group has come together, explaining: “The camaraderie and how the lads talk to each other in the dressing room is absolutely vital, and I am really pleased with that side of things.

“They have become a self-regulating group, they’re starting to be the squad I want them to be.

“We are going to need to be at our best tonight and I have got a feeling that we will be.”

Lynch (suspended), Nedum Onuoha (hamstring), James Perch (knee) and Grant Hall (tendonitis) all miss out for the R's tonight.

I’m bursting with pride to reach 300 games.

Ian Holloway
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