The return of the Mac



Steve McClaren’s new QPR club scarf is substituted for his brolly. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Nick Skoric

By Nick Skoric

New QPR boss Steve McClaren is keeping it real. He has ditched the brolly and the Dutch accent as he looks to finish out of the bottom half of the Championship next season.

There were no exaggerated promises of promotion in his opening press conference. No, click your heels together three times and say there’s no place like the Premier League, Toto. No miracles talk.

Instead the former England manager made it clear that the club is a long, long way from the Premiership and they will aim for a top-half finish after the disappointing 18th and 16th place finishes in the last two seasons.

Real talk from a manager who finds himself in a really sticky financial situation as QPR battle a world-record £40 million fine after breaching Financial Fair Play rules in the 2013-14 season.

McClaren was part of Harry Redknapp’s coaching staff for the opening three months of that campaign. He went on to manage Derby County who the Hoops eventually beat in the play-off final to get promoted.

This was despite the troublesome characters which lurked in that QPR squad and McClaren had the pleasure of training. Or not training.

Back then, on his first day at Harlington some senior members of the team refused to train until the summer transfer window closed as they dreamed of greener pastures.

Luckily those bad apples have been removed and the ex-Newcastle United manager is excited to work with the current set of players at Loftus Road.

“The introduction of younger players has been a breath of fresh air and it’s exciting for the future,” added the 57-year-old. “I like to play attractive, attacking football – and we’ve got young, hungry footballers here who can play that way.”

The addition of some wise old heads to the squad will be tough coming. But the seasoned veterans are needed if McClaren is to deliver a top-half finish next season.

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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