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Inside 'R' Season: A fan's view - January

Sam Taylor looks back on the month of January, sharing a fan's perspective on it all.

QPR 6-1 Cardiff

We start January in what one can only describe as ‘in style’.

I think after this game I turned to my dad and said it was the best performance I can remember from a QPR side.

After our annoying loss to Cardiff at their place it was a really even clash going in, if not in favour of our visitors.

Neil Warnock is no stranger to W12 and it was very much a tough opposition that we were up against. We had dipped in form over the Christmas period and this was our chance to start 2020 off in style and get back on top.

Well, to say we achieved that is an understatement. Nahki Wells equalled our hat-trick record of the previous decade on the first day of the next.

Bright Osayi Samuel scored what can only be described as a truly remarkable couple of goals, and the necessary Ebere Eze finish saw the R’s completely destroy Warnock’s Bluebirds.

It was truly a sensational match and reminded me just how lucky I am to be a QPR fan. If being a QPR fan entails having your Christmas period ruined by a loss to Reading and Hull, but then being treated to a New Year’s gift of six goals at home, then please, renew my season ticket!

QPR 5-1 Swansea

So, I asked myself after the Cardiff match, what could be better than scoring six goals against one Welsh side to start off a new year? Well, a few days later, that was answered quite bluntly by scoring 11 goals against two Welsh sides to start off a new year!

We are an odd cup team, never really doing that well, but for some reason, we really turned it on against Swansea.

Jordan Hugill scored one of my favourite goals of the season proving his true quality. Josh Scowen and Lee Wallace scored some incredible – and unlikely – strikes. A lovely goal from Bright and another from Jordan capped off another high scoring fixture in front of the Loft, as QPR completed their two-week demolition of the entirety of Welsh football. It truly was a fantastic time to be a Rangers fan.

Brentford 3-1 QPR

Unfortunately, being a QPR fan involves having high hopes not met. We were treated to two massive wins over the past week or so, and seemed rather unstoppable.

A trip down the road to Brentford was up next and we were in high spirits. Brentford finished us off after half an hour.

Despite a Nahki Wells goal to add some hope into the game, the strike was unfortunately not enough to inspire a comeback that we seemed to have accustomed ourselves to this season.

This game at Brentford truly humbled us, we put up a decent showing but in all fairness, Brentford have been a quality side this season. We have shown that on our day we truly could put up a proper display but this really wasn’t one of those days. Onto the next.

QPR 1-0 Leeds

The high quality of opponents were coming up hot and heavy for QPR but luckily we had league leaders Leeds United in our next fixture.

QPR have a knack for annoying Leeds.

They were on a dreadful run of form and that meant for us of course that it was time for our annual ‘shock’ victory over Leeds.

After Luke Freeman singlehandedly finished Leeds last year, we were hoping for a similarly inspired performance this year.
Another good omen for the R’s would be the recent arrival of Leeds’ very own Jack Clarke on loan from Spurs. It seemed this game could only really go one way and although Jack didn’t grab a hat-trick against his former side, the game was going rather well for us from the off.

A completely uncontroversial goal from Nahki Wells put the R’s ahead early on, and with this one goal lead, the boys really stepped up and held their own.

Something that seemed to help us see out the fixture was the dismissal of best player in the league Kalvin Phillips, after he decided he was going to completely attack Geoff Cameron and was appropriately dismissed with a straight red card after a truly horrific challenge.

A huge win for Warburton’s men against the league leaders and a great recovery from Brentford.

QPR 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Next up we were hoping to carry on our impressive cup form that we’d started against Swansea a couple of weeks earlier.

The big thing I remember about this game was the transfer talk from Burnley saying they were going to recall Nahki, to sell him on somewhere else.

This was a really big upset for us as he’d been so important to our success this season. It seemed that this could be the last time we saw Nahki in the blue and white hoops. Anyway, this game was incredibly disappointing. We let Sheffield Wednesday have the game it seemed. They got two past us and were looking rather comfortable. Other than a few half chances from our end, we barely put up a fight in this match.

Late on Nahki came off the bench to mark the end of his R’s career with a solid finish which was not enough to secure our place in the next round of the cup.

I still get upset watching that clip of Nahki squatting, head in hands at the end of the tie. He was a top player and it was a real shame the way things turned out. He clearly loved playing for the R’s these past couple of years and in the modern game that’s a valued rarity to find.

I, amongst all other fans, could only wish him well in his future pursuits and hope he continues to bang them in for whoever he ends up playing for, as long as that’s not against us that is.

Blackburn 2-1 QPR

In all honesty at the time of writing this, I am struggling to remember that much to say about this one. Jordan Hugill scored a goal which was obviously very encouraging after the confirmation of the departure of Nahki just before this fixture.

I’ve said in my other column just how highly I think of Jordan Hugill and he continued to give his most in this match when we needed it.

We conceded again before half time and the game then fizzled out uneventfully under the lights at Ewood Park.

This was a disappointing result and another example of QPR not being quite there yet. A big few months lay ahead for the R’s as the end of the season seemed to appear closer.

We move on to what turned into the penultimate month of the season, (for the mean time), as we went up for a difficult set of fixtures in February hoping to head back up the table.