March 10 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 10, 2014
QPR beware, Ipswich Town are a much better team than they were five months ago.
So says Blues midfielder Paul Anderson ahead of the visit of Harry Redknapp’s pre-season Championship title favourites to Portman Road tomorrow.
Town more than matched the big-spending west Londoners at Loftus Road back in August, eventually losing 1-0 thanks to Tom Hitchcock’s stoppage-time goal.
Ipswich have gone from strength-to-strength following a slow start to the campaign, suffering just two defeats in their last 16 league matches to move into the play-off places.
QPR, by contrast, have recently dropped outside of the top two of the first time this season after claiming just four points from a possible 12 and failing to score in five of their last seven matches in all competitions.
“It was fairly 50/50 when we last played,” said Anderson. “We were still settling as a new squad and unfortunately they got the winner in injury time.
“We matched the so-called big team of the league though and I think we’ve come on leaps and bounds since then. I think we’ll be a much bigger challenge for them this weekend than we were then.”
Anderson has hailed the team spirit in Mick McCarthy’s low-budget squad, insisting there are no ‘bad eggs’ or ‘luxury players’ among a group who are desperate to perform well for each other and their ‘straight talking’ manager.
“I think that’s a big factor of football,” said the former Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City player. “If everyone is enjoying it and getting on then you are going to perform at a much higher level than you are if there’s not a group togetherness.
“With the money QPR earn and the way they’ve spent it there is no reason why they shouldn’t run away with the league, but football is not as easy as that. Everyone who comes up against QPR, well it’s a cup final really, because you’re playing against players who should be in the Premier League.
“Whether or not they are working as hard as other teams you don’t know, because they’ve got great ability. I can’t comment on their dressing room, I can only comment on ours, and I struggle to believe that other teams could have a better togetherness than ours.
“We’re not scared of anyone and we believe we can beat anyone in this league.
“At the start of the season we played it down a bit and talked about consolidating, but we always said within the squad that we were aiming for the top six and we believe we are good enough to do that.”