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Rob Burnett: Charlie Austin can save Chris Ramsey’s job

29 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Rob Burnett: Charlie Austin can save Chris Ramsey’s job

QPR's boss needs his striker fit and firing against Brentford - he could be the difference between promotion or his P45, says the Mirror sports writer

There is one west London club currently sitting in 10th place in the Championship.

Despite a huge turnover of players in the summer and the fact that their star player and top scorer has missed the last month through injury, Queens Park Rangers won their last match 3-0 and are now just five points off a play-off spot.

The manager Chris Ramsey is just months into a three-year contract and yet during their last home match – a game they won 3-0, remember – he was booed by unhappy fans, who sang “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

There is another west London club currently sitting two places below QPR in 12th.

The current manager, Lee Carsley, lost his first two matches in charge at Brentford. He is only acting in a caretaker role and has repeatedly said he doesn’t want the job full time.

“I don’t feel I’m the right person for it, although I am the right person at the moment,” he said this week.

“You know where your own strengths lie, and mine lie in coaching and development.”

Yet in a recent newspaper poll, 78 per cent of those who voted wanted him to take the job permanently.

Two clubs, just four miles and two points apart, one with a manager desperate to keep his job amid huge pressure and supporter unrest, and the other with a manager who doesn’t even want the job, despite the fans apparently rooting for him to stay.

This Friday they meet at Griffin Park in what has become one of English football’s rarer derby matches.

Aside from three seasons spent together in the third division in the early 2000s, this fixture has not been played since the mid-1960s.

And Hoops boss Ramsey will be crossing all his fingers and toes in the hope that his main man Charlie Austin will be fit enough to lead the line after a month out injured.

Austin already has seven goals this season, and said this week he is “70 to 80 per cent confident” he will be involved.

Ramsey will be hoping that percentage goes up in the next day or so, for this is the man who could turn it all around for the Loftus Road boss – and save his job.

A 20-goal-a-season striker like Austin is vital if Rangers are to seal promotion this season – and you sense that Ramsey will have to achieve nothing less than that to stay on as manager after director of football Les Ferdinand warned him last week he must “step his game up”.

“The expectation is to go on and win it or be in the top six,” added Ferdinand, menacingly.

And it seems the man himself is ready to stay and lead the charge.

“I can’t see myself leaving in January, because I’m concentrating on playing for QPR,” Austin said this week.

“I think I owe it them and my loyalty is with them, to help them and get promoted.”

Although Ramsey admitted it might not be up to Austin whether he stays if a big enough offer comes in, he will be hoping the former Poole front man sticks around to the end of the season.

Or he might just end up following him out the door.

Brentford v QPR betting

9/1 – Lasse Vibe to score first and Brentford to win

Championship betting