By Nick Skoric
QPR’s damp squib end to the season up at Elland Road was consistent with a campaign where the R’s struggled to get out of second gear at times.
Rangers picked up some momentum. Stalled. Restarted the engine. And then repeated this sequence over and over to eventually coast (not the good version) to safety.
The main cog in the QPR midfield, Massimo Luongo, missed the final two games of the season after he took an early start to his summer break in preparation for the World Cup in Russia next month.
The 25-year-old is now back at Harlington training on his lonesome after deciding to take two weeks out of his six-week summer holidays before joining up with the Australian national team in Antalya, Turkey later this month.
Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk will lead a one-month World Cup preparation camp from May 19 which includes a tie against the Czech Republic on June 1 in Vienna followed by a match with Hungary on June 9 in Budapest.
Ian Holloway left QPR yesterday following his second stint at the club as manager. Before his expected departure, the former R’s gaffer had explained the early summer holidays decision with Luongo.
"Mass is set to go to the World Cup with Australia, which is brilliant for him and brilliant for QPR,” said Holloway. "I can't tell you how proud I'll be to see a Rangers player playing on the biggest stage of them all this summer.
“We've had to think a bit long-term with this one because our priority is his health and well-being ahead of next season.”
Luongo, who was born in Sydney to an Italian father and Indonesian mother, is certain to make van Marwijk’s 23-man Australia squad come the end of the four-week training camp in Turkey.
Back in Shepherds Bush, Steve McClaren is being touted as the man to take over the reins at Loftus Road. Let’s just hope he leaves his brolly at home.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
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