QPR (H); THE PREVIEW

15/08/17

So Sunday didn't really go to plan and now City face QPR in a game that many fans will expect them to win. Rangers have confounded pre-season predictions of doom and started the season superbly however. Andrew Lawn spoke to QPR fan Wayne Summer to get the view from west London.

Andy - Despite being tipped to struggle this season, you have started the season very brightly with a 2-0 home win over the beaten play-off finalists, followed by an excellent 1-1 draw with one of the beaten play-off semi-finalists. Is this a flash in the pan or does a successful season beckon?

Wayne - It's a very good start considering many pundits predicted 1 point after the first 6 games; Reading (h), Wednesday and Norwich (a), then Hull and Leeds is a tough run of games. We played very well against Reading and again 1st half at Wednesday so I'm more hopeful than I was, that we can have a good season.

That is a horrible start on paper. What would a good season look like? Is survival enough, or are expectations higher than that?

In previous seasons expectations have been high but this season, with it being the last parachute payment, expectations are a lot lower... A poor end to last season and only one player added over the summer, midfielder Josh Scowen, on a free from Barnsley, we've had to lower our hopes... We've since added Alex Baptiste (from Middlesbrough) on a free and Kazenga LuaLua (from Brighton) on loan. I think we now realise we are at the bottom end of the spending market so anything above 15th would be ok.

In Connor Washington and Jamie Mackie, you have two players who are capable of getting goals at this level and both are off the mark already, so does success rest on the shoulders of those two? Who else should we be wary of Wednesday?

Mackie has had his first pre-season in three years and has claimed he feels fitter than he has for a long time. Washington was played all over last season; left wing, right wing, lone striker when everyone at Loftus Road could see he needs to play in a two. This season Olly has played 3-5-2 which means Washington looks more potent. Former Fulham striker Matt Smith has started on the bench and could start Wednesday.

Our best player by a long way is Luke Freeman. He's a creative player and the system means he has a free role, from which he can control the game and most attacks start from him.

Interesting, we have also adopted 3 at the back so far this season which could make for an entertaining evening. What, if anything, have you made our our new approach?

It's only two games in and new signings need a few games. My spies at Fulham told me you played well and deserved a point, it's not an easy place to go. I didn't see yesterday's result coming and I think Farke needs time to get players used to the system he wants to play.

Neither did we and all the pre-game optimism following the Fulham game fell a little flat, meaning Wednesday is now an even more important game, not quite must-win but...

How do you think the game will pan out and in what areas might we find joy?

I think we will start fast, we always do but tend to run out of ideas. I expect Matt Smith to start so expect an aerial bombardment. Our two full backs Perch and Furlong are not the best and I think that's your best avenue, get the ball wide and attack the full backs.

That was something we didn't do enough of on Sunday, preferring to try and play through the lines. It sounds like being a tight game in that case as we look suspect aerially at the moment. Would you take a draw if offered now and what do you think the score will be?

I'd bite your hand off for a draw, any draw. Norwich is not a good place for us. I was there in 1976 when Steve Grapes scored. You won 3-2 to stop us from winning the old First Division.
My heart says 1-1, my head says 2-1 Norwich.

Thanks Wayne.

For what it's worth I think Daniel Farke will have learned more about his team in defeat and will demand a reaction from his side. My hope is that Rangers lack the nous of Grayson's Sunderland and an early goal will open the game right up. If City score first, I expect the game to be done, but if QPR are a side to fade it could leave gaps for us to exploit. Let's be bold and say 3-0 City.

Following on from the success of the march on Sunday, Barclay End Norwich are calling on fans to arrive at the ground early on Wednesday, to drum up the atmosphere. With kick-off at 7:45 we are calling on fans to join us in the Barclay bar at 19:15, ready to head out onto the terraces at 19:30.

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