Joey Barton believes QPR would be safe had Chris Ramsey been manager from the beginning of the season.
Instead, Rangers are on the brink of instant return to the Championship, with midfielder and squad only too aware their fate could be sealed by Saturday tea-time if results go against them.
Barton reckons Rs have made a right dog’s dinner trying to escape the drop.
But he rubber-stamped his support for Ramsey while wondering out loud what might have been.
"Since Chris came in the level of performance has been very, very good.
“We’ve thrown points away late doors,” Barton said. “But if Chris had been in charge all of the season, we may have been safe at this point.
“It’s no good crying over spilt milk. But things that happened to our squad this week put things into perspective.
“It’s not over until it's over – but we were behind the eight ball from a way back. We may have faults, but the one thing we don’t lack is character and togetherness.”
The ‘things’ Barton referred to was the devastating news received in the team’s hotel before the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool that Rio Ferdinand’s wife had lost her battle with cancer.
The midfielder insisted a football club facing the drop paled by comparison.
“We woke to up some shocking news, and it puts mere football into perspective," he added.
Barton heads to former club Manchester City on Sunday knowing a win is the very least if they want to survive another week.
"They don't get any easier. Then again, this league is hard work from start to finish," he said. Rangers claimed a decent 2-2 draw with City earlier in the season at home (see gallery). Would that a point be good enough now.
Keep up to date with all the build-up, matchday and post-game reaction to Manchester City v QPR right here on getwestlondon