The bottom half of the Championship may lack the glamour of the grand prix circuit but new QPR owner, Flavio Briatore, seems happy to be a part of it nonetheless. The Renault Formula One principal Flavio Briatore, who bought the Loftus Road club last month along with Bernie Ecclestone, celebrated in the directors' box as his side recorded their first away win of the season.
The new owners are expected to name Luigi De Canio as QPR's new manager later this week. De Canio, 50, is known as a something of a relegation expert, having twice steered unfancied Siena to safety in Italy's Serie A, but if he does take over he is unlikely to find a result or performance as impressive as that garnered by the caretaker manager Mick Harford at The Valley.
Harford met the chairman, Gianni Paladini, on Saturday night to discuss his future and it is thought that he will be asked to stay on as first-team coach, the position he held prior to filling in as manager. He remained philosophical about his role, however, preferring instead to praise his players.
"I came here to work with John Gregory, and I enjoy the role as caretaker manager," he said, "but [losing the job] is something I'll have to deal with if and when it comes. It's not about what happens to me but to the players, who have responded magnificently."
QPR are now unbeaten in their last four games and this victory lifted them off the bottom of the table. Their captain, Adam Bolder, said the players would like to see Harford get the job permanently, but admitted the new owners might have different ideas. "Obviously, they've got a lot of money, but they're not going to be stupid," he said. "They're businessmen and they're not just going to splash money left, right and centre. They're going to look at the situation and what needs to be done."
Bolder scored a deserved 72nd-minute winner when he looped a loose ball into an empty Charlton goal after Marc Nygaard had challenged Nicky Weaver, a challenge Charlton felt should have led to a free-kick. QPR had already missed a penalty when Martin Rowlands' well-struck shot came back off the post after Rowan Vine was brought down by Jonathan Fortune.
Charlton are in freefall and their once slick football now looks ragged. Their manager, Alan Pardew, looked back on three defeats in a week, saying: "It's very disappointing, but it's important we don't get overly carried away, and we refocus, regroup and be strong as a unit. We've got enough quality in the team, there's no doubt about that."
Goal: Bolder (72) 0-1.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Weaver; Mills, Sodje, Fortune, Basey; Sam (Racon 85), Semedo (Thomas h-t), Zheng, Reid; Varney, Iwelumo (McLeod 68). Substitutes not used: Randolph (gk), Bougherra.
Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Camp; Mancienne, Stewart, Cranie, Barker; Rowlands, Bolder, Leigertwood, Ephraim; Nygaard, Vine. Substitutes not used: Cole (gk), Bignot, Ainsworth, Sahar, Moore.
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire)
Booked: Charlton Sam, Reid.
Man of the match: Vine.
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