IAN Holloway has taken a leaf from the Gerry Francis school of management this week by bringing the dreaded ‘Terror Tuesdays’ back to the QPR training ground.
Francis, who signed Holloway as a player for the R’s in 1991 having worked with him previously at Bristol Rovers, was known for running his players hard on a Tuesday in order to maintain their fitness levels over the course of the season.
While it wasn’t particularly popular with his squad, Francis considered it a vital ingredient in what would prove to be a successful period for the club.
And ahead of the visit of Aston Villa this weekend, Holloway has inflicted that pain on his group of players.
“It’s always tough but sometimes it’s good to go back to some old fashioned methods,” Holloway told www.qpr.co.uk.
“I stood out on the training ground on Tuesday and I wanted to see them chase, work and run – and they did it brilliantly.
“The players might not like it – but I love it!
“And I loved it when I was a player too. I couldn’t wait to get out there. That was my game because I knew I had to run further and faster than anyone else to balance things out in terms of ability.
“My job was easy. Did I play the piano? No. Did I carry it on stage for others to do that? Yes I did!
“Some of my team-mates back then never used to show up on a Tuesday. But I won’t mention any names … Macca! Bardsley! Never!”
Rangers head into this weekend’s game after a mixed recent set of results. Impressive victories against table-topping Wolves and Sheffield United were followed by a heavy loss at Nottingham Forest prior to the international break.
“I wasn’t expecting that but I have to say Forest played well on the day,” Holloway said.
“We were level on points with them going into that game and I really wanted to move to where they have now moved to in the league.”
The R’s are currently five points behind Villa who occupy the final play-off spot, and the QPR chief believes the test his team will face will be like the challenge they took on at Forest.
Villa have won five of their last eight fixtures, and Holloway said: “I expect them to be very similar to Nottingham Forest so this week we have had to go over the issues I felt we had at the City Ground.
“Villa have got a very, very good manager on their hands as well as a very good squad. They should be up there fighting for promotion this time.
“I feel they have been repaired from how they were before. The criticism I gave them last year was that I didn’t like how they went down. I thought it was too easy.
“Steve has made them a lot more solid, with solid characters – Glenn Whelan being one of them, Robert Snodgrass, Conor Hourihane. He has made some really good signings and they are a force to be reckoned with.
“They beat us 1-0 at Loftus Road last year and I didn’t like that so let’s see if we can beat them this time. Bring it on.”
Holloway will be taking a close look at his returning internationals before selecting his team for the game, explaining: “Massimo Luongo only got back on Friday morning so that’s difficult but I am sure he will be ready to go for us again.
“We have had a few lads away on international duty and I will have to look at that – how are they morale-wise if they haven’t got what they wanted?
“Everyone else here has been good, they have bounced back well from the Forest game. It hurt us so let’s see if we can respond in the right way.”
Nedum Onuoha (hamstring), James Perch (knee) and Grant Hall (tendonitis) remain out.