May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Moore
Friday, January 4, 2013
QPR end the Christmas and New Year period as they started – five points adrift of safety.
Yes, the R’s enjoyed a morale boosting win over their near-neighbours Chelsea on Wednesday.
But their three successive defeats, coupled with wins for Reading, Southampton and Wigan left them exactly where they started, but four games worse off.
It all looked bleak for Rangers as they were soundly beaten by Liverpool on December 30 but a gritty defensive performance at Stamford Bridge was the foundation for help, aided by Shaun Wright-Phillips’ fine strike late on to win it.
Harry Redknapp opted for the same tactics as he did for the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle. Keep it tight and try and snatch a goal on the break. Unlike at St James’ Park, the game played out right to the manager’s script.
Clint Hill, Ryan Nelsen, Stephane Mbia and Shaun Derry were all superb and didn’t give Frank Lampard any space in the zone just outside the penalty area, where he has operated so effectively for many a year.
There are still problems for Rangers – Hill and Nelsen are in their mid-30s and they are both stretched with so many games in such a short space of time.
There are still five points between QPR and safety and they will need to pick up some more surprise wins like Wednesday night.
But the games against Wigan, Aston Villa, Southampton and Reading are the ones that will really decide their fate. Win those and the R’s will have a great chance of survival. Lose them and they are down.
Redknapp admitted that Tal Ben Haim is set to sign for the club but is he the answer? Yes, he is free but is he still Premier League class? I personally doubt that he is.
The 30-year-old has not played this season after leaving Portsmouth and has not played a Premier League game since West Ham were beaten 5-0 at Newcastle in 2011.
One player that the R’s should look at is a loan move for Arsenal’s Johan Djourou. The centre back is younger  and played top flight football last season for the Gunners, although he has only been used in Capital One Cup games this season.
QPR take a break from the league for an FA Cup game against West Bromwich Albion. I expect Redknapp to make several changes, especially in defence, to give his side a rest with a sizable gap to their game with Tottenham on January 14.