Why QPR could be set to end six years in the jungle as they target the Premier League with Michael Bale


Ottingham Forest’s play-off final success in May ended the most prominent wait for a top-flight return after 23 years in the Championship.

Two seasons ago, it was Leeds United, as Forest finally sank into the depths of the lower leagues in the big time, while in between was Brentford for whom Ascension, after their near-miss 12 months earlier, had started Despite the fact that the Bees had never played in the Premier League before.

As at 10 Downing Street, there is no stand-out candidate to inherit the term, but QPR might be the best fit.

Last relegated from the top flight six years ago, only Reading and Birmingham have stayed longer in the Championship and while both those clubs came very close to relegation last season, for most of the campaign So the Rangers saw the playoffs. Committed at least, until a disappointing run of two wins in 14 from the start of February derailed their promotion hopes.

Captain Stefan Johansson told Standard Sport that everything was looking bright at Christmas but after Christmas we didn’t perform well and were a bit unlucky with injuries.

“We didn’t do well in the big games, as a team we just couldn’t get back into that rhythm of winning games again. All of a sudden, you find yourself chasing the pack in front of you instead of Let them follow you.”

QPR’s off-a-cliff pace followed the reverse of a resurgent jungle, the two clubs slipping past each other like old friends heading in opposite directions on a tube station escalator, a lime. Going to the light, the other sent to each other, 46- stop the underground plan.

A veteran of two promotions with Fulham, Johansson appreciates the toughness and hard work of the second tier and says its appeal resonates far beyond his native Norway.

Nevertheless, there will be an unusual Norwegian focus on English football when the new season begins following the arrival of Johansson’s former international team-mate Erling Holland to the Premier League.

“When I last spoke to him, I told him I wanted to see him in England,” says Johansson. “He came from the under-21s when I was with the national team, he played a few games, and you could see his strength, it was unbelievable for a young player. Every time he came to the national team camp. He went to another level and eventually he became just a machine.

“I think it took him 11 minutes to score his first goal [for Manchester City, in pre-season]. I think he’ll end up with something this season.

How Johansson and his teammates (barring perhaps the middle section) would love to look forward to meeting Holland and City this time next year.

Seeking promotion, the Rupees turned to Michael Bale, a first-time head coach best known for his work on Steven Gerrard’s staff at Rangers and Aston Villa, in a marked change from a club that had Depend on proven championship managers. Mark Warburton, Steve McClaren and Ian Holloway for their last three appointments.

“I knew him because, after playing for Celtic, I was keeping an eye on what he and Gerrard were doing in Glasgow,” says Johansson. “They did an incredible job coming back from winning the league against Celtic and competing with them.

Michael Bale is best known for his work on Steven Gerrard’s staff at Rangers and Aston Villa.

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“I know a few players who have worked under him and they only have positive things to say. From day one, when I spoke with him, you could see his eye for detail. We will see, we will see that he has performed at the highest level.”

Johansen says Rupee has “already come a long way” in the “18 or 20 sessions” since Bell took over the reins, and the 31-year-old feels ready to rediscover his best form. does, after admitting that he did not appear. The level I know I’m capable of” last season.

Johansson has a particular responsibility to do so as one of the division’s youngest squads has been made even more so by the departures of experienced heads such as Lee Wallace and Euan Barbet this summer.

“We’ve talked about it,” Johansen adds. “A lot of experienced players have gone but everyone talks about experience over age – now there are guys who have played a lot of games in the Championship and that’s experience too.”

The expectation heading into the new season is that many of them play just 46 more.