Team: Smithies, Bidwell, Onuoha, Caulker, Perch, Cousins, Henry (Washington), Luongo, Ngbakoto (Khayati), Chery, Polter
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Kakay, Paul, Shodipo, Grego-Cox.
Attendance: 13,307 (including 835 Preston fans)
It was an unbelievable pedestrian performance that shocked me. Second best in every tackle (the second goal summed it up), no quality and reduced to pumping pointless long balls to an isolated Sebastian Polter (100% effort but ineffective) from the very start!
Cousins looked like a schoolboy hiding in a men’s match. Caulker was limping around with his head down in an apparent sulk. Luongo looked as if he was hiding in fear of making a pass. Smithies seemed to have lost the ability to catch the ball, needlessly punching into more danger. Ned looked slow and cumbersome. The rest were no better, looking anonymous at best.
Preston gave it 100% effort, closed us down quickly and bullied us from the start, but boy did we make them look like Brazil! Even our subs looked no better than what had gone before and frankly I fear for Conor Washington. Nasser has skill but doesn’t convince me that he has an end product.
Not good enough by a long way and the inability of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to change things was worrying.
Onwards and upwards, early days but it was shocking all the same. Leeds and Cardiff seem a million miles away.
On a lighter note, we used the khazi in the School End and found it plastered with Watford stickers abusing Luton. I mean, when was the last time they played in the same league? Four divisions between them until recently!
The visitors went ahead when Paul Gallagher shot on goal and Jermaine Beckford was on hand to poke it home.
Preston doubled their lead when Nedum Onuoha put the ball into his own net, while Anders Lindegaard blocked Conor Washington’s shot at the other end.
Massimo Luongo fired just wide late on for the hosts as North End held on for their first points of 2016-17.
The defeat, QPR’s first at home this season, was the first time they have lost against Preston North End since May 2009.
Prior to the match, Scottish Premiership side Rangers announced the signing of Joe Garner from North End, with the club saying they expect the deal to be completed over the weekend.
Preston, who lost their opening three league games for the first time since 1989-90, controlled much of the opening 60 minutes to seal their first points.
QPR head coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “We looked second best and couldn’t get going. You have to give Preston credit. They did well, put us on the back foot and we looked flat.”
“As a group, we expected more and wanted more but couldn’t deliver. We didn’t look like us. Individual errors cost us.”
Preston manager Simon Grayson: “We’ve answered one or two critics from during the last few weeks. That will keep a few people quiet for a while. People do tend to get a bit jittery when you lose the first three games. The critics have been answered.”
“I said before that I didn’t think we were a million miles away. We were off the pace in the last three games but that was more like us.”
Call me old fashioned but what is so wrong with 4-4-2? I will say it until I’m blue in the face but our best performance last season was at home to Ipswich when we started with both Conor and Seb.
They ripped the Ipswich defence to shreds for most of the game. So he dropped Conor for the next game and he has been a permanent sub ever since more or less.
We play two players wide, so perm two from about six players who can’t find Seb with a simple cross week in, week out. We desperately need a left-footed midfielder to play wide left as every game so far we have played a right-footer there.
Mind you, the fact most of our squad cannot kick with their left foot sufficiently sums up modern football for me.
Our defence has suddenly changed from a tight unit to an utter shambles every time the ball is lofted into our box. It doesn’t help that with a keeper who seems to think that slapping the cross rather than catching it is going to install trust in the back four.
I’ve still got doubts about a manager who cannot see what most people in the stands can and that’s when we’re playing poorly you need to change the system sooner rather than later.
He only reacted when we went two down and by then the game was more or less over, even with 35 minutes to go.
EVERYONE must do better.
What did Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink expect? It was obvious from the word go that it wasn’t going to work! Yes Preston were well organised and physically stronger, but did he really expect any kind of result with the way that he had set his stall out on Saturday?
There was a distinct lack of quality on show, we didn’t do the basics well enough and pumping the ball upfield was ridiculous!
Someone asked me after the game if we had a Plan B, well the nearest to that was throwing on Conor and Nasser in the second-half, and crucially we didn’t even have a Plan A!
An example of the fans frustration was borne out in response to the continuing policy of taking short corners. Nasser El Khayati went over to take up position towards the corner flag and numerous fans in the R Block area stood up waving their arms at him to get in the box, leaving him looking bemused!
On a positive note it was good to see Tony Hazell at half-time and well done to all those that are keeping the momentum of the Stan Bowles petition going.