QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

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QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by SM » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:30 pm

Hello all,

I had planned to try and get something written up on this last night, but due to the timing (it went an hour over-schedule!) this was virtually impossible.

As with the previous couple of events, there wasn’t any groundbreaking news, but it was a very interesting evening with an excellent insight into the future plans for the club… The evening was very heavily focused on the finance side, with a deluge of questions being fired at Lee Hoos on the subject, but there were some fascinating little snippets, particularly with regard to Gary Penrice re-joining QPR, along with a squad update and news on the Stan Bowles benefit game.

In total, the question and answer lasted almost bang on two hours. Some of the questions were bounced back a couple of times during the evening, so for the sake of clarity I’ve compiled everything discussed under each header. Holloway apologised on a number of occasions for "rattling off" which made this a bit difficult to structure, but the below covers everything discussed.

The evening started by Paul Morrisey (PM) welcoming Lee Hoos (LH) and Ian Holloway (IH) to the room. Les Ferdinand was originally supposed to be in attendance, and whilst nobody at the club confirmed the exact reason why he wasn’t able to come, there was a lot of talk that it was due to a charity event that he needed to attend in Newcastle.

Paul Morrisey opened by asking Ollie how it felt being back at QPR.

IH - Going by championship sackings I might have another 5 months go go! Listen, I’m privileged and delighted to be back. On the way here, I was listening to a song “back together again” in the car. That’s how it feels for me. There’s been lots of changes compared to when I was last here. After those six defeats in a row everyone stuck with me, let’s see where we can go from here.

I want some proper hero’s at QPR again... People who will wear that shirt in the same way that all of us would. Ferdinand is a prime example of what we’re after, loads of potential and the right attitude. QPR gave him the platform to go on and do great things. I want to do the same for some of our youngsters here too.


LH - We’ve made good progress in the 2 years since I’ve been here. The average age has decreased considerably. We’ve re-balanced the squad really well and I’m pleased with where we are heading.

TRAINING GROUND

Q: The judicial review found in favour of the council, so what’s the next steps?

LH - We have won every legal battle that has been put in front of us. This review was in our favour, but this could still be appealed. The difference now is any appeal would only be an option on a point of law. This is very unlikely.

As we mentioned previously, there has been an application for a public foot path going straight across the training ground, which is due to be reviewed in September.

This is something that we really want over the line. In amongst these appeals and legal processes, it seems to have been forgotten that we are putting things in place for the local community. We aren’t developing the land to build a load of property - we will be providing pitches that the local children and youngsters can go and play on.

It’s unfortunate that so much money has been spent on legal fees.

On the timescales, this has been going on for two years, just to get to this stage. I can’t put a definitive timeframe on it, but as long as foot path goes in our favour, then we are pretty much there. As has been the case previously, they may appeal again in September on the foot path, which would again lengthen the time until we can start work. Providing we overcome those hurdles, the first step would be to level off the site, and we have the license pretty much granted for that. So we will be able to start work as soon as it’s signed off. It’s looking good.


NEW STADIUM

Q: Can’t we just develop Loftus Road?

LH - This site is less than 5 acres. The sites we are looking at are already quite tight, and even then we are looking at 9/10 acres. Double what Loftus Road is.

Aside from that, planning permission would never be granted on this site. The restricted light and other factors make is a non-starter. No matter how hard you try, we simply can’t do anything at Loftus Road.

It’s extremely important for us to remain in the borough. A stones through from Loftus Road ideally.


Q: What’s the latest on Old Oak Common?

LH - It’s looking increasingly difficult, but it is still possible.

Q: And what about the report on the Linford Christie site?

LH - The Linford Christie site is very early doors. At the moment we have been going round and talking with people in the community and starting genuine consultation. We need to find out what people’s issues are and what they want for the area. If we got Linford Christie, the track would not go around the pitch. The facilities on the site are very poor, if it was possible to get a new ground here it would be mutually beneficial - we could give them far better facilities than they have now.

QPR is the bedrock of the community. It’s an asset and should be viewed that way. We want the local people to be proud and want ground there.


TEAM FOR NEXT SEASON

Q: What’s the plan on the playing side next season?

IH - Wow. Togetherness is so, so important. We’ve had so much change over the last few years, and players haven’t been given a fair crack of the whip to build themselves.

January was a great month for us, it really was. We got rid of people who didn’t want to be here. I tried to get some of them on board, but that mentality wasn’t changing so we needed to get rid.

The young kids have great attitudes, there’s real promise for the future now. We’re always looking at who we bring here, or should I say, who we allow to come here.
It’s not about ability, you need to be worthy as a person first. I think that’s what we got wrong over the past few years.

Your favourite player… I would have fallen out with him. You HAVE to be a good person FIRST, respect the group FIRST. It’s a team game, selfishness has NO part to play in my squad. This is my house, you have to have manners.

Some of our players over past few years didn’t deserve to wear the shirt. But they did a trick and everyone would say how amazing they are. Not for me.

It’s natural that some players you will get right, some you will get wrong. But the character of the person? You have to be right. Every time.

It’s difficult here at QPR because we all like a bit of flair don’t we? Les had flair - and heart. That’s the characters you need.

You’ve got to get that blend right. Look at Connor Washington, the best thing that I could do for him was getting someone in who can win a header. He knew it, the squad knew it. He’s not a winger; he’s not a lone-striker either. Now he has partner, he believes he can score goals. And he’s showing it.

Listen… Coming here and wearing that badge isn’t easy. If you aren’t scoring, or hitting that ground running some fans get on your back.

“COME ON HOLLOWAY – GIVE IT TO WILKINS!”

*laughter*

You need a blend; I was a midfielder with Wilkins. That’s the bit you need to get right.

We could easily have panicked in January but we didn’t. It’s a terrible time to buy and sell. It’s tough when players are telling you that they want to leave. It’s not professional for me to speak on certain positions for next season, right now everyone is doing what’s asked.

But I’m pleased how things are going. I would like us to score more goals, but I can’t complain.

Long term, our scouting network is on the march. I won’t name names, but we are making massive progress. Everyone that’s good is ahead of the game. You need eyes on everyone in Europe. We need to find your Kante’s. What did he cost?

We aren’t gonna throw it around like we used to, but that didn’t do us any good anyway, did it?

Whether you’re a tackler, a passer, a flair player, there’s never an excuse for not trying. And you’ve seen enough of those haven’t you?

You might not like everyone that I bring in, but you won’t say aren’t trying!


FAMILY STAND

Q: Can we move the family stand? What about putting them in the Paddocks? It’s ruining the atmosphere…

LH - Move the kids along to the Paddock area? Firstly, the Paddocks are mostly season ticket holders, so I’m not sure how they would feel about this. If you want these kids to grow to love the club, sticking them out in paddocks probably isn’t the best way to go about it. People talk of atmosphere, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Last year against Brighton the place was rocking. Against Norwich it was superb too, for me the atmosphere is very heavily linked to what’s happening on pitch…

IH - You saying it’s my fault?!

*LAUGHTER*

LH - In a new stadium we could put the family stand in a better position. But at Loftus Road we are stuck with where it is.

Q: It’s quite common for fans to be hit by the ball in the warm up, can this be addressed?

IH - That is my fault, I do the shooting practice!

*MORE LAUGHTER*

LH - Next season that will be eliminated. We will have nets in front of where players warm up, we already have the footings in place.

TARGETS FOR NEXT SEASON

Q: What’s the target for next season Ollie?

IH - To be better than we were this year. Let’s target the top half of the table, if not playoffs. Everyone wants to be there, but let’s have a go. I touched on it earlier, but our scouting network needs to be better, we want better players here don’t we?

I visited Real Madrid when I was out of work - as I normally am!


*LAUGHTER*

I was shown around by a little man called Paco. He didn’t speak a word of English. The facilities were absolutely stunning, beautiful. They had a surgical operating theatre by the training ground. It was unbelievable. A palace.

We had lunch and watched them all train train. Through the interpreter, Paco turned and said to me… all you really need is one pitch, one ball, and bloody good players!


*LAUGHTER*

BURTON FIXTURE

Q: Moving forward the Burton game looked a good idea… But why rest the players?

IH - I hold my hands up to that one, that was my fault. Speaking to Birch quickly, he’s saying we should bring it forward. I didn’t realise it was so close to the window and had I known I would have left it as it was. We would have been stronger playing them on the Tuesday. Okay, we lost, so what? Would we lose if we played them again? I don’t think so. I was wrong in my management. I should have looked at it properly, but I take full responsibility on that one.

ACCOUNTS

Q: How are things looking on the finances? We’ve cut the losses from £44m to £11m, that’s good news, right?

LH - It’s the first time for me that an £11m loss has been celebrated as a success. Make no mistake; we have a very tough job ahead of us. In the future, it will be hard to sustain even this amount, and the parachute payments will be cut in half next season too. Then they totally stop shortly after that, so to keep even this level of loss is very difficult. We need to be faster and work smarter than other clubs.

It comes back to what Ollie said, the importance of our scouting is critical. Other clubs can afford to make mistakes with transfers. We can’t. On that side, this January was probably the best transfer window I’ve ever been involved with since I’ve been in football.


IH - January was very good. We have some very big shoes to fill. We lost Charlie Austin and apart from, only Chery was getting any goals. Nobody else was scoring. It again comes back to balance and blend of experience and youth. Some of the young lads have been sensational, Manning and Furlong. Wow. This is what we all want.

United built an era on youth. I want to see the same here. Maybe I can manage young Furlong’s son one day. He hasn’t had him yet, but that’s what I want.


*LAUGHTER*

We need to get the signings right. At Palace I paid £6m for Dwight Gayle. I’ll tell you, I was worried; he had only played for Peterborough. Fortunately, it worked out well.

But I’m putting things in place that will keep you all happy for a long, long time. If you have that top, top knowledge you don’t have too much to worry about.

I didn’t like the flashiness, that’s never been us. I’m told we need to move, but I don’t particularly want to leave Loftus Road, this place is special. Let’s make sure that we nurture the right kind of people to play for us. It’s already happening. Right now.

Some of them before weren’t here for the right reasons. The deals weren’t right. We don’t have that in us anymore, to make deals like that.

The lower league scouting here was amazing once upon a time. I see Andy Sinton at the back there… Where did we get you from? Cambridge wasn’t it?


*Shouts of "Brentford" from various people*

IH - WHAT?!

*laughter*

IH - Good old Brentford. I’ll tell you one thing about them though, their scouting network isn’t bad is it? We need to do the same.

Q: Sticking with the accounts, can you give a forecast of how the next set will look?

LH - I can’t give you a forecast, but I would say it will be roughly the same next year. It is harder though, as touched on with the parachute payments etc. We are showing foresight and looking ahead on all aspects at QPR.

Q: Why is Reuben charging interest on money he has loaned to the club?
LH - The loans that he puts in is open to anyone else that wants to contribute on the same basis. The interest is converted into shares in the club

STAN BOWLES BENEFIT MATCH

LH - There’s a long and short answer here. Let me explain my job. Picture me as being employed to drive the van from one destination to another. I need to avoid hazards and make sure we are going on the right route. The passengers can look out the window and what is going on outside. I need to focus on keeping the club on the right line.

So far the GoFundMe page has raised £35,000 for Stan and his family. What is the objective of this benefit match? Is it financial? Is it recognition?

We did the day for Stan / Alzheimer’s Society which was a great success and great for him. He got his acknowledgement and recognition.

I’m not sure that the original group really knew what they were aiming for. Personally, I don’t believe Loftus Road is the right venue for the day. At these kind of events, they notoriously don’t have anywhere near the level of support they think they’ll get when the days comes.

It’s not unfair to say that the previous committee didn’t gel together. I tried to get the right people that had experience in organising these kinds of events. We now have a superb team together doing this.

One of the members organised a previous testimonial. There were massive tax implication to this, and one of them suggested doing it through the QPR Community Trust. This makes it VAT exempt, which automatically increased takings by 20%.

I’m working 70 hours per week, trying to organise this kind of thing isn’t easy. We now have a structure; and I think we will have a date within the next 10/14 days.


FFP

LH - I’m hoping for this to be resolved by start of the season or just after the start of next season. I’m limited in what I can say, as they keep reminding me… But it’s going at real pace now, and will be resolved soon.

TRANSFER BUDGET FOR NEXT SEASON

Q: What’s the transfer budget for next season?

LH - No club in their right mind would disclose that kind of information! We don’t want to tell every club how much we have to spend!

*laughter*

INJURY UPDATES

Q: Can you keep us more updated on player’s injuries?

IH - I hear what you’re saying, but things aren’t always clear cut on injuries. Jordan Cousins was close to coming back, and then he complained of a bit of pain, and turned out he had ripped the muscle right off the bone. Jack Robinson is still struggling with some older injuries that keep niggling him. It’s very difficult to know day to day how long each will take.

LuaLua we thought was going to be out for weeks. I can tell you he will be out training with us in a couple of days time and be back way ahead of schedule.

The other thing is that I don’t want to help the opposition prepare by saying who may or may not be available. That does us a disservice.

I’ll tell you one thing though, this team is as sharp as any that I’ve managed over the past 10 years. The confidence is flowing and the belief is building all the time. It’s amazing.

Against Norwich we had them down to 10 men, we’ve scored two goals and we’re absolutely terrified. If we went any deeper we would have been in the main road!

It took time to get that mentality out. Players need results and rules, when that blend is right they all believe in what we’re doing. We’re getting there.


TRAVEL & SUPPORT AT AWAY GAMES

Q: Official coaches are very expensive; can’t the club arrange train travel for supporters? It more comfortable and it’s cheaper for supporters.

LH - We already lose money on coach travel. Rail companies were previously offering deals to clubs where you could offer discounted travel to supporters, but they have stopped doing it now. We aren’t trying to make money on this; just covering the costs would be great.

Q: Could we get players to acknowledge fans more when getting off the coach at away games?

IH - Personally, I’ll always stop and talk to anyone. But I don’t want to change the player’s pre-match routine. Each of them is different. Connor wants to get in the zone; he has his headphones on up until kick off. You wouldn’t believe how superstitious they are. We will do all we can for you, but changing things pre-match is something I’m not prepared to do. At any club events, believe me, they will chat and mix with everyone. But on a match day, players need to focus in their own individual way and I would never get in the way of that.

For me, when the game ends it’s absolutely vital to acknowledge the support. But sometimes when you lose you feel you have let everyone down. It hurts.

Speaking personally, when we lost up at Rotherham a few weeks back, I didn’t want to go over and clap everyone. I was fuming.

But I do want a group of people that feel like you do, for us to all be one. This group care, I know they do. They care about you. We need that message going through to everyone. When you have that you can achieve unbelievable things.

“This is the best trip, I’ve ever been on… Do do dooo”

That’s what I want to hear the QPR fans singing. I want you to be proud. I want you to enjoy it. It won’t always go right, sometimes it will go wrong. The beauty with this league is you can lose a third of your games and still get promoted.


SCOUTING STRUCTURE

Q: You’ve both mentioned a lot about the scouting, can you give us anymore info?

IH - It’s expanding. I can’t tell you who’s coming because he’s working elsewhere, but he’s definitely coming. He has loads of experience and we’ve worked together for a long time. He’s never given me a bad character. He knows a lot of people, veey well connected… People in France, Spain, Portugal…. We will know everyone, everywhere.

The investment needs be right here. Luckily for me the board have put this in place for us. It’s better for the club that he is here, than I’m here. Long term you will be thinking, wow, look at him.

This particular person recommended that I signed Luke Freeman for £500k. He knew his contract situation and that he was under 24. We knew everything about him, he’s a fantastic addition.

The club have been after this individual for about 3 or 4 years now. He wants to work with me again, so he’s going to come.

I guarantee to you, if he tells me to sign someone, I wouldn’t need to see him myself. He will be the right sort. If you don’t play him he will work harder, play harder. We need saleable assets. I’ve never been so confident in my life.

Watford spend £2m a year just on scouts wages. Benatia, who’s now playing at Juventus, they paid £400k for him. I could have had him at Blackpool for £4,000 per week but they wouldn’t pay the wages. That was nothing for a player like him. He was then sold later on for £25,000,000!

Every time I see him playing for Bayern I call Mr Oysten and say “You seen who’s playing?”


*LAUGHTER*

This same individual recommended that I sign him. That same person was involved with Kante and Mahrez. He found them. We won’t be too far off the pace.

It all feels right. I know how to do it. We have had some adversity. 2007 was excellent, because we came through a lot of crap didn’t we? It was horrendous, but we got there in the end. Then unfortunately I was put on gardening leave by a very unsavoury character... I can’t name names, but *cough* Paladini *cough*

Oh, did I just say that?


*HEAVY LAUGHTER*

OTHER QUESTIONS

Q: What reservations did you have about returning to QPR?

IH - The only reservation I had was whether my wife would let me! I had to sit down and ask her if she would let me come. When you take over as a manager, it takes over everything, your whole life. It’s a big thing to give up. But Kim feels about QPR the same as I do. Fortunately.

I almost had my time, but thank you, thanks to Kim, thanks to the club, it feels fantastic for me. Even in the bad moments I feel you trust me.

We all want to get back in that top flight. But the top four keep getting all the money, keep growing, keep building. When you go up, you’re in danger of wrecking yourself by trying to stay there. It needs to be small steps, and for us to always think about the club first. We need to do it a bit at a time.

You’ve put up with enough here haven’t you? It’s not about where someone comes from; it’s about where they want to go. What might Manning be worth in the future?


Q: Can we have the ‘dennis the mennis’ kit back next year?

LH - We can’t have it every single year, but it will come back at some point. Interestingly, the feedback on this year’s kit was amazing. Hoops all the way round, finally! We actually sold more the previous year with the hoops not going all the way round. I still can’t get my head around that following the reaction we received to it.

Q: There’s still confusion over LF’s role, can you confirm what he does?

LH - Oh, I wish LF was here!

He ties all of the footballing departments together. He’s the first point of contact with agents. He’s a great person to have around the club, he’s a gem of a man to have on board. And it’s all done with a smile and no arrogance. Perhaps next time we do one of these we can get Les to run through a typical day of his to explain how his role works.


IH - Management is evolving. It used to be that the managers did everything, from the signings of the players to writing up the contracts. The amounts of money involved are enormous now, you can’t possibly do all these things yourself. Without Les I would have struggled to come back.

It’s impossible for me to do my job properly if I was dealing with agents and all of the signings. His role is absolutely invaluable to me. He is vital in allowing me to organise my group. The other bonus for me is that he can be “bad cop” sometimes. If someone wants to sort contract they can go talk to Les - not me. He has huge role in what club will turn into.

The deals here used to run out of control. Now we will go for the best option, if the deal isn’t right to for the club, then we move on to target 2,3,4.

I also want Les on the training pitch, just half hour would benefit some of our lads no end.


Q: With every referee against QPR, how do you feel about video assistance coming in?

IH - This is a long time coming. It was the first time I’ve ever lost 1-0 after scoring a legitimate goal (Blackburn). The lino said it was impossible to see the header and be absolutely sure it crossed the line, so he didn’t give it. Our analyst knew straight away, it was mad! Referees should be able to have a personality, but the way I see it they are all turning into robots. They have a tough job, but with video replays it will at least be fair.

Q: The “Stars of 67” Q&A was a great evening. Can we do this more regularly please?

LH - We will try and do more events. There is plenty going on behind the scenes. Problem is, if you have too many of these events it goes from being special to being the norm. We are very pleased with how many fans said that they enjoyed it.

Q: Ollie, how much do you change tactics depending on who we play?

IH - Yeah I change it a lot, I realised it wasn’t working when we lost 6 games in a row! We were too open, we couldn’t score, and we couldn’t defend. The lads weren’t comfortable with it, and we aren’t at a level where we can impose our game on any opposition and go and win.

At Leeds I totally changed it to nullify Wood. We shackled them and we should have won it. Before the lads couldn’t deal with changes, now we are winning they can switch it up and they’re comfortable with a few different systems.

If teams start pressing and cutting out our passing, we can go straight to Smith and play from there. It’s a dying art, players like that. The players knew we needed it. Having him here lets the others grow.

The foreign players are settling in now. Sylla, Yeni, Pawel… They haven’t been here long, two of them barely speak any English… Which is a good job because I don’t either!

Some players have issues, if they aren’t on it I send them home to think about it and tell them to come back a different person tomorrow. Players can be spoilt, but that ain’t happening here. Not anymore. And we will benefit from it eventually.

Look at Lukaku… Yeah he’s signing a new deal. Oh no, he isn’t. Everton don’t have any ambition, I’m not signing. It’s a selfish attitude and I don’t put up with that.


Q: Could the Blue and White bar be utilised better? Having Sky game on? Have a player in there after the game?

LH - It’s difficult with players, they normally want to do their own thing after the game…

IH - I can force them to go in if you want?

*laughter*

IH - Let’s have a look at this, it’s a really important part of things.
LH - A lot of the time those available players are over in the family zone, but we can see.

Q: What are the club doing to encourage new fans to QPR?

LH - Well the family zone has been a real success. A lot of kids are coming to the club. New season tickets holders is up to 78 this year, compared to just 3 last year. That’s not returning fans or lapsed ST holders. That’s 78 NEW fans. The interest free DD scheme has been taken up, and made it more affordable for a lot of fans to come back to Loftus Road.

Q: What’s happening with Ravel Morrison?

IH - I have 4 kids and they all needed to earn their ice cream. Ravel’s ice cream is that he just wants to play. His training isn’t always what it should be, and his timing isn’t always what it should be.

He needs to earn his team mates respect and work hard as them. That wouldn’t have been hard few months ago, let’s be honest. But when Ryan Manning is running 14 km – 1,800 of it flat out. And then Pawel beats that… Poor old Rav has a way to go hasn’t he?

I know his game isn’t all about running, but we need to hold the ball better for him to be effective. He’s gradually getting there. I looked into his eyes and thought I could help him, and that’s what I’m trying to do. He still has a contract at Lazio for another 2 years. But we have a clause to take him. It’s all about him proving he wants to do what he says. I want talented people around me and I want my work ethic to rub off on him. I’m sure he will do it, lots of other people have been sure and they haven’t been right.

At the minute I don’t think he’s ever worked so hard. He’s training 3 times a day and he hasn’t let us down for… 3 or 4 days!


*HUGE LAUGHTER*

IH - Deep down it ain’t funny though. You have to earn what you get. You want respect, you have to earn it. Other managers get sacked left, right and centre. They may not have those principles - and good luck to them. But you can’t run after these players wiping their backside. But I hope more than anything that I can see him play for proper. I promised his mum I would do my best to help him. I’ve only had one player before I couldn’t help and that was Clark Carlisle, and boy did I try.

What a brilliant player Ravel could be. I love his ability. He might be in and around it on Saturday. We’ll see.


Q: Who are the most exciting youth players coming through?

IH - It’s hard to say individuals. I loaned out Shodipo, I want him to learn a bit more, make a few mistakes for someone else then come back. Just like Furlong has done. He has a serious chance though. He’s great with the ball at his feet and running at people.

Grego-Cox and Petrasso have really impressed me. Doughty has stacks of ability; I just struggle to find a position for him. Lumley has been outstanding; they’re waxing lyrical about him down at Bristol Rovers. Furlong and Manning have been amazing. Everyone behind the scenes are working so hard, it’s fantastic. There’s others I really like the look of, but they aren’t physically there yet.


Q: Where does the club stand with on the discipline of Steven Caulker?

LH - Not an employer in the world that would comment on that. It’s internal and ongoing process. No further comment.

IH - He seems to get in trouble when he’s not fit. I would love to be able to pick him, he’s a brilliant player. He started the season on fire.

Q: What’s happening with the outstanding bank loan?

LH - It’s being repaid monthly and finishes in August.

Q: The interest rate seems quite high on what Reuben has paid into the club. With parachute payments reducing, why is he taking money out of the club?

LH - As I said earlier, we will give you the same deal if you want?

IH - I think this is a trust thing. They’ve had their hands burnt, let’s be honest. They’re now running QPR how they run their own businesses. I trust them. Les does. Lee does. These are nice people. They got caught up in it before and thought that’s the way football was. Reuben is a quiet man who’s determined to do well. He doesn’t go into this to “do” people. He’s a man of his word, and I want us to build a relationship, and for us to be proud.

It’s not about what you spend, you can go and have a lovely meal in a café, right? If you choose it well. Some are minging, but some are nice!

I know what you have here, and in time this will give you what you want. But we need trust. They’ve lost millions on millions. My goal is to make them feel happy and good, who knows what comes then?


Q: Could the club give up free tickets to local schools / the community for cup games? It would help boost attendance and atmosphere.

LH - The FA give you very few tickets to give away free. 45% of the revenue goes to us, 45% goes to the opposition and 10% to the FA. It’s crazy, but even if you give the ticket away, whether they show up or not we then have to pay the opposition and the league - even if you aren’t getting any money for the tickets. That’s why clubs don’t do it anymore, where in the past they included it in the ST price.

Q: How good is Smithies?

IH - WOW. I’ve played with some good goalkeepers, but Smithies is phenomenal. Ingram is excellent and never complains about lack of game time. The way that they work is incredible. We’re blessed with great goalkeepers here. Lumley as I mentioned is doing very well, and we have a beast of a lad in the youth team who looks a real prospect. Smithies signed a new deal recently... I imagine there will be offers for him this summer. Gilks was outstanding for me at Blackpool, but Smithies is topping him, and he’s younger. Good job too because I’ve never seen so many one on ones since I’ve been here!

*laughter*

Q: Have you worked much on the fitness? The players looked noticeably sharper against Leeds?

IH - Not so much, but we have more desire now. I did some running drills here, and I was shocked. Pawel got in the team because of how well he did - the best I’ve ever seen. Young Manning was the second best I’ve ever seen, so in he went too. It’s quite simple really. You need to be able to run when playing counter-attacking football.

Some people didn’t want to run, some people couldn’t run. Sandro hadn’t run for ages. You can’t play counter-attacking football with that. But now they believe. Luke Freeman blitzes what we had before. All these elements come together and you get more energetic performances as a result. We go long to Smith far too often for me, but the players know he’s there as an option.

Birmingham away was the best I’ve seen from any team of mine. That was the day that the new boys came of age for us. The pressing, the desire, the quality. The free kick from Yeni, unbelievable.

On Yeni, I found out what weight he was before he came to us. My fella who I’m bringing in on the scouting knew his ex-manager at Metz. So I knew he put on a lot of weight. He had a bereavement, he lost his father. He missed his flight, and by the time he got there his dad had passed away. How can you judge him on that?

I knew his body fat was nowhere near right. I showed him the calendar and said look at you there. Is that your twin brother? You eating his biscuits? He came my way, and he’s worked ever so hard.


*laughter*

No game in this league is easy. If you think we will just show up on Saturday and win, then don’t come. If they start moaning, shut them up.

I lost to Vauxhall Motors, a terrible car I lost too! I never forget that. We’re on a mission to get you what you want.

Against Huddersfield I was sat there waiting for someone to do something, then Freeman smashed that one in and we almost got back into it. I want those moments of magic more.


LH - Can someone tell our commercial man to cancel the Vauxhall sponsorship that we had lined up?

*laughter*

Paul Morrisey then presented a couple of fans signed ball and another with £100 of Rangers cash.

Holloway went totally off-piste and said we should do more QPR cash. “It’s all home made. Wouldn’t that be great! I want £2,000 of Rangers cash please? U R’ss.”

Paul Morrisey then went back to Holloway to sign off the evening.

Thanks for who you are.
Thanks for caring.
Onwards and upwards.
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by Kett_Ranger » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:44 pm

You're a star Saf, many thanks for that aniclap
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by Danish Ranger » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:03 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Highly appreciated

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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by kernowhoop » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Thank you. Reading that made me feel good.
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by deadendjob » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:26 pm

Good man Saf. Really appreciate it aniclap
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by UxbridgeR » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:31 pm

Cheers SM, much appreciated.
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by dm » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:39 pm

That's an excellent report SM. Thank so much for taking the trouble to record and write it up.

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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by StevenageRanger » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:44 pm

Cheers Saf. Great read.

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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by KildarePete » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:52 pm

Thanks for putting this to paper.

Interesting to see that Holloway still has Shodipo, Grego-Cox and Petrasso on his radar. Hopefully they can come back into the squad after improving elsewhere.

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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by Esox Lucius » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:01 pm

Thank you for taking the time to do that Saf, it's much appreciated. Was the subject of Ron Hunt's plight raised?
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by DG » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:25 pm

Fantastic report Saf. Thanks so much for attending, and putting all the effort into writing it up so well. Genuinely much appreciated.
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by White Duck » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:28 pm

Really good read that: thanks mate.

Both guys come across really well: positive times! 8)
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by offamushinshepherdsbush » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:37 pm

Good work SM - thanks
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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by 222gers » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:32 pm

Thanks a million SM!

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Re: QPR Fans Forum - Lee Hoos & Ian Holloway

Post by ZENITH R » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:08 pm

Wow - that was a brilliant report SM.

Thanks very much. Really appreciated.
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