In our latest fan column, Charlie Skinner runs through the options at Ollie's disposal, and says that switching things up could pay dividends.
As Deepdale looms this weekend, QPR need to change it up to make sure they don’t make it 17 games on the road without a win.
In recent weeks, QPR have gone from the highs of beating top of the league Wolves and Sheffield at Loftus Road to getting comprehensively torn to shreds by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Winless in 16 games away from home this season, Ollie really needs to figure out how to beat a notoriously gritty Preston North End.
After losing Simon Grayson to Sunderland and replacing him with the young talented Alex Neil, Preston have had an average start to the season. They are another team that like to press and we know that QPR don’t like it when someone else uses their tactic against them (think Brentford or Millwall). It will certainly be a tough match, watch out for Daniel Johnson in the middle of the park.
Matt Smith seems to be preferred to Idrissa Sylla up front and the stats show he has a better goals to minute ratio. After a game changing appearance off the bench on Monday night it would be unfair not to give him a start. On the flip side, the tactics would be very obvious to Alex Neil should he start. With the players at our disposal, bombarding the opposition box with crosses rather than playing hoof-ball to Smith to flick on just seems like a solid game plan.
Luke Freeman is suspended so someone needs to fill that creative gap in midfield. Yeni Ngbakato has been given several chances there but hasn’t shown anywhere near enough to be considered. One would suspect Ebere Eze would be the perfect fit there if he weren’t on loan, and thriving, at Wycombe. Expect Ryan Manning to slot in to the midfield three.
The defence really speaks for itself as there aren’t really many players who are fit. Jack Robinson played fantastically well in the first half against Brentford on Monday night and Jordan Cousins seems to be getting better and fitter every match after a lengthy spell on the treatment table so expect him to start in the right wing-back position again.
Going by form and previous results, I am going for a draw with both teams to score but as we know, anything can happen in the Championship.
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