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Watford v QPR - It's a big night for...
Watford v QPR - It's a big night for...
Monday, 7th Dec 2009 18:51

Ash returns to look at the key areas that could decide tonight's televised clash between Watford and QPR.

Bouncing back:
Has there been a bigger reason to bounce back for quite a while? Saturday’s mauling at the hands of Middlesbrough hurt, really hurt. Even more for me who’d spent the morning shelling out £130 to fix my car three weeks before Christmas. But hopefully it hurt the players too. No one likes getting thrashed, especially in-front of your own fans so the players should and quite understandably be down-hearted after the weekends result despite having themselves to blame. Now the important thing is to bounce back. As seen earlier in the season we are more the capable of dishing out our own thrashings and although on paper the current Rangers team could do just that to Watford tonight, the win and three points is the most important thing to help put Saturday’s shambles to bed and get our season that’s now in danger of serious stuttering back on track.

Where do we start on this one? Much has been said already on this board about the defending on Saturday and indeed against Coventry and the simple fact is we can’t continue to keep shipping in such easy goals. As Clive has pointed out, Jim Magilton has turned a team with one of the best defensive records in the division last season into one that looks very venerable. A lot of that is down to the chopping and changing particularly at centre-half where last season’s best two players seem to be only paired when the injury and error prone Fitz Hall isn’t available. I remember when we signed Hall, I was pleased to have signed a player with top-flight experience and quite highly rated. Unfortunately he’s never lived up to it at Loftus Road and although it’s unfair to blame him for all the mistakes against Boro, he’s a big reason for our defence looking so unsettled and shoddy right now. Magilton needs to go back and look at who was playing there during our recent good form and look back at last season at who was our most outstanding players, then pick the same ones for the game tonight. And leave one size on the bench were I’m sorry to say he belongs.

Jim Magilton
The knives may not be quite getting sharpened for Magilton yet, this is QPR and Flavio will not stand for many more performances like the defeat at the weekend. Whether he stumbled across his best XI or not a couple of months ago, he needs to go back and have a look at that team and then pick the closest possible team to that against a Watford side we are more than capable of beating tonight. Otherwise more dropped points or a below par performance could crank up some pressure on old Madge. He’s been lucky that our esteem board member has had other things to deal with for the majority of this season and Jim’s been given a pretty free run on what he wants to do with the side. But that doesn’t mean that Flavio is not aware, he’ll be watching with a watchful eye through his blue tinted shades tonight and expecting a result.

League positions
Such is the tightness of the Championship right now, we found ourselves with only one win in six games but still in 9th place in the table just a point outside the play-offs. Indeed, before Saturday we were still in the top six. However we can’t continue to drop points and expect to stay in and around the chasing pack. And with an even trickier away day next week at the Hawthorns, three points tonight is vital if we are to come out of the busy Christmas period as contenders.

Photo: Action Images

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