PNE ‘curse’ struck early for Ramsey

Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin
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Over time, a few managers have lost their job after games against Preston North End.

But the axe fell on Queens Park Rangers head coach Chris Ramsey a few days ahead of PNE’s visit to Loftus Road this weekend.

The London outfit called time on Ramsey’s nine-month tenure on Wednesday night, 24 hours after a 1-0 defeat at Derby County.

Having overseen just two wins in the last 10 games and with QPR having aspirations of a swift return to the Premier League, Ramsey was relieved of his duties.

Director of football Les Ferdinand reasoned that results had not matched the club’s expectations.

Ferdinand admitted that targets had changed over the last few months.

Initially, QPR had expected to have a transitional period as they settled into life in the Championship.

Their big-named players were predicted to leave, Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Leroy Ferr all having been strongly linked with Premier League clubs.

However, they stayed and the QPR board raised the bar in terms of what they wanted out of this season.

The aim now is to finish in the top six and QPR are well off the pace – they currently sit in 13th place.

“We’ve made this decision in the best interests of the football club,” said Ferdinand.

“It’s no secret that we expected to sell some key players in the summer transfer window, and as such, our target at the start of the season reflected that.

“However, keeping these players at the club has seen the mandate change, owing to what we believe this squad is capable of.

“We’re all desperately disappointed it hasn’t worked out with Chris.

“He has had to deal with this shift in expectation and has worked incredibly hard in doing so.”

Key to a rise up the table for QPR is former Burnley striker Austin.

He scored seven league goals until damaging his hamstring in September.

Austin has been back in action for the last three games and will start against Preston.

It is likely that Paul Konchesky will line up at left-back.

Konchesky was on PNE’s radar in the summer before they landed Greg Cunningham.

QPR have taken him on loan from Leicester for the season.

For Preston’s visit, the hosts will be without right-back James Perch who was sent off in midweek.

Gabriele Angella is a likely replacement or Nedum Onuoha could move from centre-half.