< SEPTEMBER >
After a decent start to the campaign, albeit with some concerns at the alarming number of goals being conceded at the back, a difficult September was in store for Ramsey, during which the side failed to pick up a win in four league matches, which ended with an all too familiar collapse against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
In an attempt to tighten things up in defence, Ramsey brought in centre-back Gabrielle Angella from Watford on a season-long loan, while Hungarian international midfielder Daniel Toszer signed permanently from the Hornets on a two-year deal to help ease the burden on the recently returned Alejandro Faurlin in the middle.
Both players had played a significant part in the Hornets` promotion campaign the previous year, and went straight into the side for the visit of Nottingham Forest, with a fourth successive league win looking on as Charlie Austin broke the deadlock just after the hour mark with a low left-footed strike from outside the box.
Having looked comfortable throughout, the game was turned on its head as Nedum Onuoha`s backpass to Rob Green saw him react with a poor first touch, knocking the ball into the path of onrushing Forest striker Chris O`Grady, who managed to nip in with an open goal gaping, before being taken down by Green for a penalty.
Out came a straight red card, and an opportunity for Forest to level from the spot with 15 minutes remaining, and they did just that as Alex Smithies, coming on to make his first appearance for the club, was unable to save Henri Lansbury`s penalty, before Nelson Oliveira grabbed what had looked an unlikely winner minutes later.
It was the first time that Forest had won away from home since February, and inflicted a second defeat of the season on Rangers, who were back at home four days later as Blackburn Rovers came to town, sitting only above Rotherham at the foot of the table, with three draws and three defeats from their first six matches.
Twice Rangers had to come from behind to snatch a share of the spoils, with Rovers defender Shane Duffy giving Gary Bowyer`s men the lead from a free-kick into the box that Smithies was unable to deal with, a lead that was cancelled out by Austin after the restart as he took advantage of a mix-up at the back to smash home.
The visitors took the lead again on the hour, as Jordan Rhodes showed his quality from a long ball upfield to turn Onuoha inside out before producing a clever finish past Smithies in the Rangers goal, but Onuoha`s blushes were spared 10 minutes from time as he headed home from a corner to salvage a 2-2 draw for the R`s.
While the club seemingly had no problems in finding the net in the opening few weeks, with 13 goals in seven league matches, only Ipswich Town had conceded more goals, with the Rangers defence having been breached 12 times, with exactly two goals conceded in each of the first four league encounters, a big cause for concern.
A difficult trip to Steve Bruce`s Hull City followed, who occupied fifth place in the Championship, and had emerged victorious in each of their opening three matches at the KC Stadium, but it was Rangers who took the lead midway through the first half, thanks to Austin`s well-placed header from a Tjaronn Chery corner.
Unsurprisingly, the lead did not last long however, as Hull captain Michael Dawson levelled the scores from a free-kick swung into the box, outmuscling Onuoha just yards out giving Rob Green in the Rangers goal no chance as he headed in the equaliser to make it 1-1, making it just two points picked up from the last nine available for the R`s.
That result saw the club slip down to ninth, with a number of fans beginning to voice their concerns that Ramsey was not the right man for the job, and his stock took a massive hit infront of the television cameras during the Friday night visit to Fulham, as Rangers turned in arguably their worst performance of the season, in which they ended on the wrong end of a 4-0 demolition job.
The evening had gotten off to the worst possible start as Moussa Dembele gave the hosts the lead in the second minute, before Ben Pringle and Ross McCormack added two more by the half hour mark, and the atmosphere in the away end turned toxic as Chery was hauled off before the break, much to the displeasure of the fans and the player himself, who made his way straight down the tunnel with his name sung loudly.
His replacement, Jamie Mackie, only lasted 10 minutes on the field after being having subbed off at the break owing to injury, replaced by Leroy Fer for his first appearance of the season, and Ramsey`s night went from bad to worse as Austin had to be withdrawn from the action on the hour, also due to injury, which was shortly followed by a second goal for McCormack to complete the rout.
Once again the club had turned in a pitiful performance in a London derby, extending their winless run to 13 games against sides from the capital, an issue that wasn`t solely exclusive to Ramsey.
That result took the total number of goals conceded in the first nine league matches to 19, with the pressure seriously beginning to mount on the manager, who would unfortunately be without the services of top scorer Austin for the foreseeable future, with the side now occupying 12th place after three wins, three draws and three defeats.
League position: 12th (P9, W3, D3, L3)
QPR Season in Review – September
< SEPTEMBER >