Rangers searching for their Mr Right

Queen's Park Rangers 0 West Bromwich Albion 2
Click to follow
The Independent Online
It would be harsh to be too critical of this young QPR side, but much of their running was more in hoops than expectation.

What they desperately needed was an experienced mentor in their midst, perhaps a former international who has honed his game over years of playing at the highest level, who knows how and when to change the pace and angle of approach, and when to put his foot on the ball.

Where was Ray Wilkins? Gone west to Wycombe, gone from Ranger to Wanderer, but how Wilkins the stroller was missed in this tetchy battle at Loftus Road. Chris Wright, the club's new owner, and his board do not like to see their manager on the field, so, apparently, faced with confining himself to the part of his job he liked least, Wilkins went. Rangers have lost a lot, and injuries have deprived them of Gallen, Bardsley, Impey and Barker. Consequently, their midfield on Saturday included an 18-year-old, two 20-year-olds and a 23-year-old (the club's prized possession, Trevor Sinclair). He bore the brunt of creating opportunities for a strike force who number only 41 years between them.

Once Paul Peschisolido had cut through the more established ranks of QPR's defence with alarming ease after only nine minutes, a second successive home defeat was almost inevitable. Not to belittle the ability of Wilkins' temporary replacement, Frank Sibley, but a clever tactician like Alan Buckley was just the man to exploit the situation, especially after his side had been stung by Colchester in the Coca-Cola Cup.

Having said in the match programme there was no rush to appoint a new manager, after the defeat Mr Wright was explaining the need to find Mr Right quickly. There is no shortage of possibilities - Steve Coppell, Alan Curbishley, Bruce Rioch, Joe Kinnear, Ray Harford, Terry Venables etc - but the etc does not, according to Wright, include George Graham or Chris Waddle.

Goals: Peschisolido (9) 0-1; Taylor (88) 0-2.

Queen's Park Rangers (4-4-2): Sommer; Jackson, McDonald (Maddix, 68), Yates, Brevett; Sinclair, Quashie, Murray (Charles, 68), Challis; Slade, Dichio. Substitute not used: Roberts (gk).

West Bromwich Albion (3-5-2): Spink; Mardon, Burgess (Smith, 59), Raven; Holmes, Hamilton, Sneekes, Groves, Nicholson; Peschisolido (Taylor, 80), Hunt. Substitute not used: Donovan.

Referee: S Baines (Chesterfield).

Bookings: Queen's Park Rangers: Brevett, Challis, Quashie, Dichio; West Bromwich Albion: Raven, Mardon.

Man of the match: Raven.

Attendance: 12,886.