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Defence remains an issue for QPR, but Austin continues to sparkle

16 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Defence remains an issue for QPR, but Austin continues to sparkle

The Rs host Blackburn on Wednesday and their leaky backline is starting to become a real cause for concern for gaffer Chris Ramsey

As Chris Ramsey stood on the sidelines at the final whistle on Saturday afternoon, it was a familiar story for the Queens Park Rangers boss.

Another two goals conceded. Points thrown away.

So far this season, QPR have conceded 10 league goals, a figure only worsened by three teams in the entire Championship.

Fortunately for the Rs, it has been a case of outscoring their opposition on most occasions – more by accident than design – but as Ramsey will surely attest, it is not a tactic to build a promotion charge on.

Last season, the West London side conceded 73 times in the top-flight – 20 more than Burnley and 22 more than Hull, the two teams relegated with them.

This year, things would surely be different. Defence would be an area aggressively targeted during the summer.

And while the saga of the transfer window – for the fans at least – was whether star striker Charlie Austin would leave Loftus Road, away from the headlines, Ramsey was methodically going about strengthening his leaky back line.

Four defenders eventually came in, and with Austin and fellow star Matt Phillips remaining at the club, suddenly QPR looked more like a team that could challenge for the Championship crown, rather than scrap for a play-off place.

However, following a frustrating defeat to Nottingham Forest last weekend, the complexion has suddenly changed again.

Wednesday’s visit of Blackburn Rovers could remedy that, given Rovers’ toothless attack and comparatively poor defence, but for QPR something needs to change soon.

Fortunately, Austin has rediscovered the goalscoring form that befits a player valued at £15m and Ramsey will be hoping that, at the very least, continues.

It is little surprise then that he is priced at 7/2 to score the first goal of the game in a QPR win.

Austin may have recently spoken about his disappointment at not playing Premier League football, but you wouldn’t guess it from his current tally.

Sitting at the top of the Championship scoring charts on five goals, the visit of Blackburn could be the perfect opportunity for him to add to his haul.

The 26-year-old is priced at 5/1 to score two or more goals and, for those that think he could even bag a hat-trick, you can get him at 22/1 to do so.

Nevertheless, there remains a feeling that QPR’s fallible backline could prove their Achilles heel yet again.

With Robert Green suspended following his dismissal and new signing Gabriele Angella a doubt after he was forced off with an injury, Rangers will be far from settled at the back with back-up Alex Smithies – their third-choice keeper – between the sticks.

And at a tempting 13/2, do not entirely write off Blackburn scoring at least twice.

There is little doubt that this is a rebuilding period for QPR, but with an attack line seemingly settled, Ramsey needs to now refocus his attentions elsewhere.

Last season’s promoted teams boasted three of the four best defensive records in the league.

And if QPR wish to join them back in the Premier League, the time to tighten up is now.

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