But don't forget about the defence...

          QPR Blog: The Charlie Austin revolution continues

          2021/02/20 17:09
          Sam Jolliffe, @rangers_region

          It's fair to say that QPR’s recent upturn in form has been rather dramatic.

          Prior to the January arrival of cult hero Charlie Austin, the Rs were winless in ten and dangerously close to the drop zone. However, since his arrival, we have won five of six, with only Swansea picking up more points, and most recently we managed a win against local rivals Brentford, which is something that hadn’t been achieved since 2018.

          It is easy to look at that and conclude that Charlie Austin is some sort of living god and has single handedly dragged the club up a few levels, but this is not quite the case. Yes, we all love him, and his impact has been immense, scoring three important goals including last night’s winner, in his first six games, but the defensive improvement has really gone under the radar.

          Last season, only Luton and Hull conceded more than our whopping total of 76 goals, which was an ever present problem that undermined the brilliance of Ebere Eze, Nahki Wells, and Bright Osayi Samuel.

          However, the loss of these key men, as well as Jordan Hugill and Ryan Manning has forced a rethink in terms of our identity, because we could no longer simply outscore our opposition. While Ilias Chair is having an outstanding season, we’re not the attacking force we were, and that combined with the defensive weakness was why we slipped so far down the table.

          ©Getty / MI News
          Despite these factors, Mark Warburton’s transition to the back five has changed everything. Barbet, Cameron and Dickie have been immense as a back three, and have only conceded three goals in the last six games, which is a massive turnaround for a team that was so defensively poor.

          The structure is so solid, so we can, at times shut out the opposition, but when we can’t, for example against Adam Armstrong’s Blackburn, the last-ditch defending of Rob Dickie and the cat like reflexes of Seny Dieng have proven vital in picking up points to repel us further out of danger.

          So while Charlie Austin has come as something of a saviour to W12, credit does have to go to the defence.

          You can find more from Sam on Instagram @rangers_region and Twitter @RangersRegion

          Charlie Austin
          NameCharlie Austin
          Born1989-07-05(31 -yrs-old)
          PositionForward (Striker)


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