The wheels seemed to come off completely during QPR’s 4-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest, as a tired looking Hoops team limped their way through the 90 minutes, and ultimately to a somewhat embarrassing performance.
It was a performances lacking drive, determination, and more than anything else, discipline.
But what was to blame for the Hoops poor display?
The game started in a positive fashion for QP|R as they dominated play, looking comfortable on the ball and working hard to retrieve it when out of possession. But as soon as that first goal went in the games changed significantly.
The Hoops appeared to be out-battled up front, out-numbered in midfield and out-run in defence, meaning that the hosts were able to swiftly take control of the game.
A disjointed midfield display allowed Forest to take control, forcing QPR back into their own territory and building the pressure on the defensive ranks.
Safe the say the back line didn’t handle the pressure particularly well.
As well as this, Holloway’s side looked particularly vulnerable down the flanks, with Jake Bidwell and Alex Baptiste being caught out by a pacey front line, meaning QPR spent more of the game than they’d have liked running back towards their own goal.
The set-up didn’t look like containing the hosts, and played a huge part in the defeat.
The team selected by Ian Holloway appeared to be arguably the strongest available, and on paper it seemed like a side that would be most likely to pull off a result.
However in a game of fine margins it looked like three games in a week took it’s toll.
That isn’t an excuse, because every team in the Championship had to contend with the same demands, but this is perhaps where the need for squad rotation is required.
No-one would argue that the team selected in each game was QPR’s strongest available, but with three games in seven days it would perhaps have been wise to make a couple of changes to keep the team fresh.
Yes, players should be fit enough to compete in three games In a week, but football is increasingly becoming a squad game and the likelihood is that many teams across the Championship will have used the depth of their squads over a hectic run like this, thus meaning the players competing had an extra 5percent in the tank.
It may come down to Ollie only trusting a limited number of his squad players, but ultimately the more squad players that he can rely on the more likely they are to be able to sustain form over a hectic Championship season.