Lady Luck deserts QPR in loss to Southampton

QPR 0 Southampton 1: Chris Ramsey speaks to his good friend Tim Sherwood regularly but even he was unable to clarify whether the former Tottenham manager will be taking over at QPR, whose season went from bad to worse when top scorer Charlie Austin limped away from Loftus Road with an ankle injury after their fifth successive defeat.

Lady Luck deserts QPR in loss to Southampton

Sherwood is expected to succeed Harry Redknapp at QPR, but no agreement has been reached nor date set, meaning Ramsey is holding the reins for now and will be in charge for their visit to Sunderland tomorrow.

But the former Tottenham coach could not reverse a winless streak dating back to December, nor lift Rangers out of the relegation zone. As if to prove that Lady Luck is really not shining down on Loftus Road, QPR lost to a stoppage time winner from Saido Mane after Austin had been denied by a superb reflex save from Fraser Forster, who was then relieved in the final minute of the game when another Austin effort was disallowed for a foul.

“What happens is you have a downward momentum, and that means you get situations like this when, instead of scoring in the last minute, they score in the last minute,” said Ramsey. “On another day, you would have come away with a win or a draw.”

Ramsey was resigned to losing Austin for the immediate future because of the ankle injury that was covered by a protective boot after the game. Richard Dunne was also on crutches, with a knee injury that could keep him out for the next few games, by which time the manager may be Sherwood, who was not at Loftus Road but will be updated on team affairs ahead of the Sunderland game.

“I’ll be speaking to him,” said Ramsey. “We’ll probably have a chat about this game but it’s no different or more difficult than chatting to other people in football.”

Ramsey would like to continue as manager, but says he does not even know if he has a chance at QPR if Sherwood is not appointed. “Is my hat in the ring? I don’t know. I’ve not been told that. All I’ve been asked to do is take the team for two games, along with Kevin Bond.”

Ramsey went on to explain how players reacted to Redknapp’s resignation last week. “Having been an ex-player, I’ll tell you what always happens in all clubs. Some people will be happy, some people won’t. Harry has been a fantastic part of the game, done over a thousand games. Nobody likes to see people moving on, or resigning. People like to see characters like him and want to see him in the game.”

But on Saturday, Southampton’s supporters were derisory about Redknapp, who took them down from the Premier League in his brief spell at the club and also managed their hated rivals Portsmouth.

Southampton are thriving now and this fourth successive away win in the league took them up to third place and kept up their unlikely bid for a first-ever appearance in the Champions League.

Ronald Koeman said Southampton should be a model for more modest clubs completing with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and the Manchester giants. “Normally the big teams have the best players, but it would be good that a team out of that group will fight for a high position. Last season it was Everton, now it looks like us. That’s good because it makes a change and it’s good for the rest of the clubs.

But he knows the spending power of the Big Four makes it difficult. “They might sometimes struggle for a period but never for a whole season. They have the best players and, if not, they buy the best players. So it’s difficult and we have to wait until the end of the season to see if we are good enough to do that. That’s the challenge.”

The indications from Ferdinand and QPR’s owner Tony Fernandes is that the club want to emulate Southampton by eschewing expensive signings in favour of producing their own young players.

One of Koeman’s current crop, Matt Targett was taken to hospital for tests on a neck injury after falling awkwardly in the 18th minute, but was not seriously hurt. Koeman says the development of players such as Targett, and before him Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, show the value of a good youth set-up. “With good organisation and good structure, you can grow. ”

QPR: Green, Onuoha , Dunne(Vargas 83),Caulker, Hill, Phillips, Fer, Barton, Traore (Isla 73), Taarabt (Zarate 63), Austin.

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Kranjcar,Henry,Zamora.

SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett (Gardos 26), Wanyama (Schneiderlin 61), Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Elia (Tadic 80), Pelle.

Subs Not Used: Kelvin Davis, Reed, Seager, Flannigan.

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire).

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