Mick Harford is pleased to be back! And even more pleased that, two years on, there are still some familiar faces around Loftus Road, including about half-a-dozen who still feature in the First Team Squad. Coming back to such familiar surroundings helped with the initial introduction but Harford acknowledged that, nevertheless, he knew a lot about the other players who form our current squad and is looking forward to having everyone fit and well as we have a great squad:
“When we get all those injured players back and get a fully fit squad – we`ve got a helluva decent squad,” he observed.
Harford thought that, in the intervening two years, our squad has progressed: “I think so. Just as I was leaving, they signed Buzsaky who is, in my ideal, a very talented player and he`s what I call a typical Queens Park Rangers player. Exciting, clever on the ball, intelligent. And that`s what we`re looking for, myself and Paul are looking for: bright and intelligent players who are not scared to be prepared to be brave in possession, and put their foot on the ball and play the game in a certain way.”
It may interest fans to know that Mick Harford and Paul Hart are not “best buddies”. In fact, Harford barely knows Hart personally. Their relationship has, to date, been conducted on the telephone or bumping into each at various football courses and meetings. But when Hart did call Harford about helping him out at QPR, Harford admitted he “jumped at the chance to come back to, what I call, a great club.”
Harford and Hart are probably the complete reverse, in terms of characters, to our late-departed combination management team of Magilton and Gorman. But Harford doesn`t think the fact that Hart is the “Clark Kent” to Harford`s “Incredible Hulk” is going to be a problem! In fact, he believes their combination is just what the doctor ordered for an ailing QPR!
“It`s a good combination in my opinion. I think that is what the football club needs at the moment – an experienced, older head who`s worked at a lot of football clubs, just to come in and stabilise the Club.” he opined.
“We have the same philosophy on our views on football. We want to try and play football the right way but we will be professional, we will be hard-working, hopefully hard to beat. But whilst we are hard to beat we want to play it in a certain style of football and that`s what Paul and I want to bring to the football club.”
Thoughts turned to our pending game this afternoon with Sheffield United – always a tricky fixture home or away for us. H & H have only had two days to work with the squad, whilst Sheffield United are on a very good run of form at present, which has propelled them up the league into 8th spot, although they are only 2 points ahead of us and we have a marginally superior goal difference!
Harford offered this: “We believe we`ve got the personnel to beat them. We`ve had a good look at them. We`ve had a good chat this morning and watched a couple of videos of them (Sheffield United, that is, not our squad!).And we just believe it`s going to be a very hard game, very difficult game. At times they can be very direct but when the game opens up they`ve got some talented players who can open it up a little bit.
“Going forward, I don`t think Queens Park Rangers have a problem. I just think they need to tighten up a little bit and we`ve done a little bit of work over the last 48 hours in a bit of a defensive shape, and all that, just to counteract Sheffield United.”
So, there you have, we`ve had from our new gaffer and now we`ve heard from our new Number 2. Time will tell if QPR have found the right combination but one thing is for sure, even though it`s going to be absolutely freezing this afternoon, I`m really looking forward to the game – see what we can do – and maybe whether the “new manager syndrome” can rub off on us and we can come away with all 3 points to start the Christmas season off with a bang!
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