We wait for over two months for QPR to return to action, and they wind up playing twice in the same afternoon.

The Hoops took on play-off finalists in back-to-back friendles, coming out second best both times with a scoreline of 2-1 and 5-2 respectively.

On paper, the results could be deemed as early cause for concern, but we discuss three positive aspects to the behind-closed-doors fixtures with the Royals.


It's a word which is central to everything at this time of year.

Ian Holloway's men were put through their paces during an intense week in Portugal, something which is the starting point for an improved season.

Having been on holiday for just under two months, being able to play two lots of 90 minutes so early after returning to action is a real positive. Usually managers ease their team back into action, with the majority of individuals playing 45 minutes maximum at this stage, but the fact that these players have 90 minutes under their belts this early, and escaping the matches injury-free, means that the team can now really focus the rest of pre-season on developing the system which they'll take into the season.


Playing a divisional rival so early in pre-season could be a real advantage for the Hoops.

As well as setting the standard for where they should be aiming for in terms of performance levels, it gives the players and the management the chance to look at what they can expect from Reading on the opening day of the season.

It'd be foolish to expect them to set up in the exact same way, but having lost these two games, Ollie and co will be able to learn from their errors to ensure that they don't do the same again at Loftus Road in just under a month.

Squad assessment

The biggest positive of the three.

Two games against the play-off finalists has given Holloway the chance to look at every member of his squad in detail. Not only has he been able to see them in match action, but the fact they were facing one of the strongest sides in last season's Championship, means it was a clear indicator for assessing who is good enough.

It's not often a manager gets to throw all of his squad into a game against such tough opposition, and it's safe to say he'll have learnt an awful lot about some members of his squad in the two games. Some, he will have decided don't have what it takes to compete at this level, and others may have caused an unexpected selection headache as he begins to decide on his final squad for the season.