IAN Holloway has predicted a “wonderful, gruelling season" ahead for QPR – and he can’t wait to get started!
The R’s chief will see his charges get the 2017/18 campaign underway against Reading at Loftus Road this weekend, and he heads into the game with a clear gameplan – one he plans to stick with.
“I am not going to change my system over and over again,” he told www.qpr.co.uk. “I won’t.
“We are going to play a certain way. It might be predictable, I don’t care. We will get better and better at it. And it’s adaptable, and that’s what you have to be in this Championship.
“I have totally decided the QPR way that I want to play, and we are going to work at doing that – over and over and over again.”
In their final pre-season fixture against Bournemouth last weekend, the R’s opted for three centre-backs as they lost narrowly to their Premier League opposition.
And Holloway was pleased with certain elements of the performance.
“Some of the chances we created against Bournemouth, I was delighted with,” he explained. “Some of the other stuff we need to sharpen up on.
“I am absolutely delighted with the shape the boys are in.”
Jordan Cousins and Grant Hall will both miss the curtain raiser against the Royals, owing to a torn hamstring and tendonitis respectively.
Holloway admits both players are a loss, and is keen to get a sustained spell of playing time out of Cousins, who has been beset by injury trouble since he moved to Loftus Road from Charlton last summer.
“I am gutted for Jordan,” Holloway said. “I have never seen such an unbelievable athlete in my life.
“We sent him away at the end of last year because he was having some issues with his thighs, and now this one is his hamstring.
“There must be something that we have got to try to look at. He is still upbeat about it, but we haven’t seen the best of him yet. I am trying to help to get him to where he needs to be.”
Following Saturday’s game against last season’s play-off finalists, QPR’s next two league fixtures are away at Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich, before recently-relegated Hull come to W12.
While it can be regarded as a tough start to the campaign, Holloway only sees an exciting challenge – and the opportunity to prove people wrong.
“I have had seasons where I have been told that we’re not going to get ten points, let alone ten wins,” he said, in reference to taking unfancied Blackpool to within a whisker of Premier League survival in 2011.
“I take it with a pinch of salt,” he added. “Everything looks how everything looks. It’s down to all of us being proud of what we’re doing and proving everybody wrong.
“We’ve got a long, wonderful, gruelling season ahead of us and I can’t wait to get started.”