Blogs & Opinion


Ray Wilkins:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Rangers on the rise

Ray Wilkins - Ray Wilkins Posted 2nd February 2013 view comments

Ray Wilkins says Queens Park Rangers are on course to retain their Premier League status if they continue to perform as they did against Norwich.

Harry Redknapp's side kept their fourth clean sheet in five Premier League games as they battled for a 0-0 draw with Norwich, but they might have recorded only their third league win of the season if Adel Taarabt had beaten Mark Bunn with his 55th-minute penalty.

Taarabt: failed with second-half penalty

Taarabt: failed with second-half penalty

But despite the lack of victories, Wilkins feels the new-look team - four players made their league debuts for QPR during the game, while Bobby Zamora returned from injury as a second-half substitute - have shown enough to suggest they can lift themselves off the foot of the table.

He says Norwich, who are 11 points ahead, are still not yet safe and QPR look more consistent than some of the teams above them.

"They're quite stable at the moment and defensively they look solid," Wilkins told Sky Sports.

"I think they're going to be okay, purely and simply because I don't think the teams above them are that much better. Whilst Queens Park Rangers aren't winning too many games I can see the others losing games.

"Yes, they have got to start winning, there's no two ways about that. You need Zamora fit -and you could see the difference in the second half when they created numerous chances - because they had somebody up there who could get hold of the ball and allowed the rest of the side to join in and play some attacking football. That's what's required.

"We've got a very similar season to last season. I think it's going to go to the wire at the top and it's going to go to the last game at the bottom as well. I think that's what's so good about the Barclays Premier League at the moment; the competitiveness whether it be at the top or bottom.

"Even Norwich on 28 points, you've only got to hit a bad bit of form and the others get a couple of victories on the spin and you're all in it.

"Then mentally your attitude totally changes as to how you play. They were so nervous in the first half, not only Queens Park Rangers but Norwich as well, and that's inevitable. You are going to be nervy when you're coming from the bottom trying to get out of it. It's tough.

"You can't say at the moment. From 28 points down you could still be really in the mire within a month."

Threatened

Former Norwich midfielder Darren Eadie was also in the Sky Sports studio and he doesn't agree that his old club will be drawn into the relegation mix.

But he feels that QPR are in good shape to beat the drop if they can start finding the net more regularly.

"I still think there's points to play for and they're only three off safety," Eadie said.

"I'm with Ray. I think they'll be okay. I've seen enough out there in an attacking sense that they can score goals. I know they haven't today, but they threatened more than Norwich did.

"I think they'll be fine, I really do. I think there's three or four teams above them which will be struggling more than they will come the end of the season and that's what it's all about.

"It's not about what's gone previous, it's about what they've got now until the end of the season and I think they've got enough.

"I think it's a percentages game for Norwich at the moment. As long as they keep picking up points away from home, that's the most important thing.

"They've got three games out of the next four at home, so two wins and they're safe."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: Costa big loss for Chelsea

Diego Costa is a big loss but Chelsea can still pass a tough Everton test, says Jamie Redknapp....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Premier League build-up, Europa League draw and reaction plus all the manager press conferences.

Live transfer updates

Aston Villa and Valencia want Tom Cleverley, Xabi Alonso joins Bayern Munich and Arsenal linked with Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Merson's predictions

Merse expects a losing start for Neil Warnock, but wins for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and QPR.

Premier League preview

Chelsea travel to Everton for Saturday Night Football, while Super Sunday features Tottenham against Liverpool and Leicester versus Arsenal.

Spurs handed Besiktas test

Tottenham will face Arsenal's UEFA Champions League victims Besiktas in the group stage of the Europa League.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.