The QPR man­ager be­lieves there are bet­ter times ahead

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By John Lyons

HE’S 54 and been around the man­age­rial block a few times, but Ian Hol­loway still has the same pas­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion as ever.

So, when the Bris­to­lian tells you he’s ex­cited about his QPR team’s prospects, it makes you lis­ten.

And why not? Af­ter a run of seven games with­out a win, no one fan­cied the R’s to pick up much from their home dou­ble header against Cham­pi­onship high-fly­ers Wolves and Sh­effield United.

But a storm­ing 2-1 vic­tory against Wolves last Saturday pre­vented the Mo­lineux side go­ing back to the top of the ta­ble.

Then, a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Blades in mid­week knocked the York­shire club off the sum­mit.

The lat­ter was Hol­loway’s 300th game in charge of the Hoops in two spells. He’s also bossed Bris­tol Rovers, Ply­mouth, Le­ices­ter, Black­pool, Crys­tal Palace and Mill­wall over the past two decades.

Six points from two games, up to 12th in the ta­ble and just four points off the play-offs. Who said QPR were go­ing nowhere fast?

Cer­tainly not Ol­lie, who was in typ­i­cally ebul­lient mood af­ter get­ting the bet­ter of Chris Wilder’s men thanks to Idrissa Sylla’s fourth-minute goal.


“We’ve just beaten two top teams in this di­vi­sion and now we’ve got to learn how to win on the road (the R’s had drawn four and lost three ahead of yes­ter­day’s trip to Not­ting­ham For­est),” he said.

“I feel some­thing is com­ing, the spirit, the to­geth­er­ness. I’m re­ally proud it’s 300 games for me here.

“Let’s see if we can win on the road be­cause that’s where our prob­lems lie.

“Can we change our men­tal­ity and say ‘yes, we can win’ away from home. It’s about be­liev­ing.”

Hol­loway – a box-to-box mid­fielder with Bris­tol Rovers (three spells), Wimbledon, Brent­ford and QPR in his play­ing days – be­lieves his se­nior pros, the likes of Alex Bap­tiste, Jamie Mackie and Matt Smith, have a cru­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in help­ing to de­velop QPR’s young­sters.

“Se­nior pros taught me how to be a pro and you can ask any­body in the game: ‘Was there a bet­ter pro­fes­sional than me?’” he said.

“There were much bet­ter play­ers, but as a pro­fes­sional – work­ing, train­ing, if I was sub, if I wasn’t – what would I do af­ter the game?

“That’s what I try to bring to a foot­ball club. It takes time, but the play­ers have got to buy into it. I can only say thank you to them.

“The mod­ern day foot­baller, how much has he got? Does he re­ally need to be like that? How many ex­am­ples of that did we have here?

“Wow, I’m so proud of the play­ers. The young lads are very, very ex­cit­ing. We’re try­ing to bring the club to­gether and, what­ever any­one else thinks on the out­side, re­sults like this might make them sit up and take no­tice.

“I knew this was hap­pen­ing a cou­ple of weeks ago be­cause I’ve watched my team. This is a team, so don’t write us off yet.”

On a night when the R’s were cel­e­brat­ing an im­por­tant vic­tory, Hol­loway took time out to spare a thought for a fel­low man­ager, Si­mon Grayson, who was bru­tally axed by Sun­der­land just min­utes af­ter a 3-3 draw against Bolton.

The ex-Pre­ston boss had taken over the Black Cats’ hot seat only this sum­mer.

“You can liken a foot­ball club as big as Sun­der­land to a huge ship on the sea,” said Hol­loway. “It’s bat­tered, lurch­ing. He’s not only got to pull it off the bot­tom, he’s got to get it float­ing again.

“That ain’t enough time to do that. You don’t get suc­cess by chuck­ing peo­ple out left, right and cen­tre. It’s re­ally not right, in my opin­ion, but who am I to tell them what to do? This is the mod­ern day, this is what it’s all about.

“Two games ago I hadn’t won for seven games. I pick up a pa­per on a Sun­day and ap­par­ently I might not be here. That’s life and we’ve all got to deal with it.

“I feel for Si­mon. He’s a mag­nif­i­cent bloke and he’s a very, very good man­ager. Six­teen min­utes af­ter the end of the game? Where’s foot­ball

go­ing? I don’t know.”

In­stead of chop­ping and chang­ing man­agers at the drop of a hat Hol­loway be­lieves own­ers need to give them time to do their work to de­velop play­ers.

“You want to af­fect peo­ple as a man­ager,” he ex­plained. “Play­ers don’t need to think that you’ve been un­der­mined.

“If they think you might not be here to­mor­row, you ain’t never go­ing to af­fect no­body.


“That’s what’s chang­ing in foot­ball. It’s a for­eign thing, all started abroad. I would ask for a lit­tle com­mon sense some­times. “We have fan­tas­tic tal­ented through­out the club and I would love to have a long time here to nur­ture them, but I’ve got to get re­sults.” And, while a £40m fine for breach­ing Fi­nan­cial Fair Play rules a few years ago hangs over the club like a dark cloud, Hol­loway is de­lighted the fans have a team to be proud of. There might not be su­per­star play­ers with in­cred­i­ble flair, there are no bad eggs eit In­stead, QPR have a h en­ergy, hard-graft­ing ou pre­pared to bat­tle. “The buzz with the sup­port­ers at Sun­der­land wasn't there when we were there 1 draw in mid-Oc­to­ber),” he said. “You’ve got to find that “Our crowd at the minute Wow, Wow. If I had hair it would be stand­ing up on back of my neck. It feels great be­cause the fans are start of trust their team.” Whether these two wins are mere flash in the pan or the s of some­thing spe­cial re­mains to be seen, but Hol­loway prom­ises he and his play­ers will give their best shot. “We get one or two bits wrong, but we’re learn­ing how to dig in,” he added “Let’s see if we can get a run of games where we don’t get beat, but we have to earn that. This di­vi­sion is so, so tough. We’ve got a long, long way to go. Don’t stop, keep go­ing

We have fan­tas­tic tal­ent through­out the club and I would love to have a long time here to nur­ture them. Ian Hol­loway QPR man­ager

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