Football: Hollins sympathises with plight of Walker's underachievers

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The Independent Online
John Hollins, the Queen's Park Rangers caretaker manager, believes Mike Walker has every reason to feel extremely unlucky as his Norwich City side languish close to the First Division relegation zone.

Despite high hopes, Norwich are now just four points better off than Crewe Alexandra, who are third from bottom. Walker tonight takes his side to QPR with Hollins believing they are in a false position. "I think a lot of teams in the First Division have underachieved this season," Hollins said.

"Norwich are not the side they were last year because of the people not playing. They have lost a lot of players through injury and long term it knocks the stuffing out of the side. I can imagine what Mike Walker is going through - it's just one thing after another.

"It's the hardest thing being a manager to lose your top players but they are still a side you have to give a lot of respect to."

Norwich have won just two of their last 10 League games, but Walker feels his side are playing well and said Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Bradford was a case in point.

"I felt we played some good stuff. Now we've got to carry on where we left off - only this time make sure we take the three points," he said. "We just need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, and the occasional rub of the green wouldn't go amiss."

Hollins, whose side are 12th, said he was thoroughly enjoying his role as caretaker, but would not confirm his future plans.

"Things are happening and I am being kept informed. But don't ask me, ask the chairman," said Hollins, who dismissed reports linking Trevor Sinclair with a move to Leicester City as "all speculation".

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