The pressure may be building on a QPR side bottom of the table but you wouldn't know it from talking to Bobby Zamora. The striker calmly maintains that they're not at "panic stations, far from it".
"It's so early," Zamora says, as he points to the danger of drawing too many conclusions from the opening months. "I remember the Blackpool season [in 2010-11], where Blackpool were flying so early, second, third in the league… and after January time, they couldn't buy a win. You literally just need to win a few games. Although they are tough games, they can all be won."
That relaxed attitude may be surprising as the side prepare for a game as tough as Liverpool at Loftus Road today, but it is perhaps understandable when you consider what else Zamora has seen at the club. He remembers so many rifts when they were last relegated, in 2012-13, that it was difficult to be around the squad. That was always going to make it difficult to stay up.
He said: "It was more a case of just wishing that, at times, you didn't have to go to training for a week and could just turn up for a Saturday so you just get game-time because, when game-time comes, everybody's fighting for the same cause."
Now Zamora insists there's a complete absence of in-fighting, and he points to how Rio Ferdinand has been impressed with the unity. He said: "It's been a big turn-around. There's a good togetherness. All the lads get on. Rio has been impressed with how the lads are together. Obviously he's been at Manchester United for a long time and he can't believe the spirit that's in here."
The squad would not be in the Premier League at all had it not been for Zamora's play-off winning goal against Derby County, and he would not still be at the club had he not taken a summer pay-cut.
There have been suggestions that cut was over £30,000 a week – quite a change for a club that was once notorious for over-paying perceived mercenaries. Zamora has since paid his dues, too, coming on as a sub in six of their seven games so far.
"Yes, I took a cut," Zamora confirms, "but I'm just pleased to be back in the Premier League. I hadn't played there for a few years and, going down last year, you realise what the Premier League is about. You want to play alongside the best players in the world."
Zamora, 33, maintains that Harry Redknapp is the best man to keep them there, despite so much speculation about his future.
Only yesterday, club owner Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to reveal his backing for Redknapp, writing: "Just to prove Harry paid for dinner last night haha good chat, positive. We got to give it a go whatever the result," he wrote. "We all stick together, unity is key, and get behind the boys tomorrow. I maintain we got good players, we are QPR. Harry is up for it." That sentiment is echoed by Zamora, who believes Redknapp's capacity for fostering unity is one of the most important qualities in a relegation battle.
"Like, towards the end of last year, when it came to crunch time, the spirit of the lads in those play-offs and those games was what we needed and what got us through. Harry has a wealth of experience. He's seen it all– relegations, promotions, finals – he's seen it all. So many games to go, you can win two and you're back up there."
If they don't, and QPR lose to Liverpool today, when do panic stations start? "Couple of months," Zamora says with a smile. "We'll have plenty of points on the board then, I'm sure."Reuse content