QPR must survive relegation to become established top-flight club says Marc Bircham
Former QPR midfielder Marc Bircham believes the club can become an established Barclays Premier League club but only if they survive their relegation scrap this season.
The 33-year-old ex-Canada international now works as part of the youth team set-up at Loftus Road and he believes QPR can retain their top-flight status and build upon it.
He told Press Association Sport: "I think we can definitely do it. The result against Liverpool was a massive result - not just for the three points but for the confidence and belief of not only the players but the fans as well."
Despite following their memorable 3-2 win over Liverpool with a 3-1 reverse at Sunderland Bircham wants QPR boss Mark Hughes to follow the blueprints set out by promoted clubs in the past.
"Stoke have done it and become an established Premier League team and other than this year Bolton have done it," he said.
"If we can do it (stay up) with the backing that we have got with the owners and the finances we can gradually turn round and evolve into a Premier League club and hopefully a top-half (club) and maybe a European Premier League club.
"There is no point talking about that now because we have just got to be talking about surviving into this summer."
QPR were promoted as npower Championship champions last season and were favourites to survive in the Premier League over fellow promoted sides Norwich and Swansea.
It has turned out differently however as Norwich and Swansea have performed well above expectations with both managers and squads earning plaudits for their style of play.
QPR have struggled despite financing several big-money signings with off-field wranglings also deflecting from their campaign, something Bircham has become accustomed to at Loftus Road.
"I have supported QPR for 30 years and we have never done things the easy way," he said.
"It hasn't probably gone as planned as it was at the start of the year but the club changed (hands) and we had the transfer window at the start of the season where we had to rush signings through.
"We know the way the club wants to go that it can be the start of a fantastic period for QPR but the first hurdle is staying in the Premier League and if we can do that the club can come on leaps and bounds."
Hughes' side currently sit 18th in the table but their run-in sees them face six of the current top 10 in their final eight games.
Bircham believes not facing clubs in and around the relegation zone could actually prove beneficial to QPR's survival hopes.
He said: "We have got Arsenal at home and then Man U away and no-one is giving us a chance so the pressure is off us.
"The two games after that are Swansea at home and West Brom away and that is when the pressure is on.
"At this time of the year it is better to play the bigger clubs because there are always upsets you have only got eight games to go and there is pressure on those teams like there is on us. They have to deal with their pressure and we have to deal with ours."
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