The Insider: QPR have been playing some attractive football ahead of Portsmouth Carabao Cup tie

Clive Whittingham, from QPR fan website Loft For Words, gives the lowdown on Pompey’s Carabao Cup second-round opponents...

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 12:46 am

The expectations are low and survival is the first aim this season.

Since coming out of the Premier League, QPR have been trying to get the wage bill down from around £80m to somewhere in the region of £15m.

It was about £30m last season and it is quite hard to keep halving your wage bill.

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QPR boss Mark Warburton. Picture: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

By the end of last term, the team looked so poor. Rangers only won three of their last 24 games and it was only because Ipswich, Bolton and Rotherham were so poor that they didn’t get dragged into a relegation battle.

Steve McClaren’s appointment was a disaster and Mark Warburton was the best of a really bad list of managerial candidates, with the likes of Steve Cotterill and Tim Sherwood mentioned.

Warburton blitzed the team this summer, with 19 leaving and 15 coming in.

Fans didn’t know what to expect but QPR have started the season well.

They’ve played some really nice football and no team in the Championship have created more chances.

However, the only points Rangers have picked up have been against Wigan, Huddersfield and Stoke – the bottom three clubs – so the jury is still out.

The first port of call is survival but people have been optimistic by the way the team is playing.

Jordan Hugill has scored three goals and has looked decent so far - but missed from about a yard in the 3-1 win over Wigan on Saturday.

Ryan Manning is a centre-midfielder by trade but has been playing left-back and done brilliantly so far.

Eberechi Eze is the big hope of the club. They’re fattening up for market and hoping to get big money for him down the line.

He started last season really well and faded with the team. McClaren played him virtually every minute of every game and it was a bit much for him at such a young age.

But Eze’s come back strong and got two goals from midfielder – he looks the business, although he’ll probably be given a rest against Pompey.

Ilias Chair spent last campaign on loan at Stevenage and basically ran his own Goal of the Season competition because he pinged in some ridiculous efforts.

Although the league is the priority, supporters would like a cup run, particularly because Rangers have started well in the league.

They haven’t a cup run in a while and fans are a bit fed up with it.