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A trip of a lifetime to Loftus Road

Sport
A trip of a lifetime to London


Mick Byrne
QPR


I’VE been to Loftus Road and back since we last crossed paths and what a trip it was. It was a temporary release from reality. We may be embroiled in a relegation dogfight and the prospect of Championship football might be edging ever closer, but for 24 hours all was forgotten.
I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Loftus Road to see QPR strut their stuff but this one was different.
It was one of those days that will stay engraved in my memory until I’m buried six-foot underground.
We were facing an Everton side that was in superb form and I feared the worst beforehand. We fell behind early to make matters worse but Bobby Zamora snatched a point for us with an equaliser in the second half.
I thought we fully deserved to get a share of the spoils as we played some attractive football in hauling ourselves back on level terms.
The positive result was one thing but the way we were treated over there was quite magnificent. A special shout out goes to Michael ‘Fish’ Cunningham, John Quigley, Seán Kavanagh, Tony O’Kane, Vic Stephenson and Gary ‘The Small Don’ Maidon for making us feel so welcome.
We got a tour of the ground and even ended up in the players’ lounge afterwards. I couldn’t find Mark Hughes but that’s his loss rather than mine! I had the secret to keeping QPR afloat.
Speaking of Sparky, I think he has done a great job over the last few weeks.
The smash and grab raid against Liverpool was phenomenal and it really showed that the players are playing for him now after a shaky start. With 15 minutes to go we looked dead and buried but we proved that the corpse was still breathing with those three late goals that got Loftus Road rocking.
We followed that fantastic result up with a home win over Arsenal when we played some excellent stuff.
In fairness, home form has never been our problem – it’s our travel sickness that has us in the mess we’re in. We’ve taken just two points from our last 11 away games and that’s not good enough.
Thankfully, we still have home games to come against Spurs and Stoke and if we can bank maximum points from those two games, I think it will be enough to secure our top flight status for another season.
The away outings are at Chelsea and Man City so you wouldn’t be overly optimistic about taking anything from those.
Although we do have a decent record against the top teams so it wouldn’t surprise me if we bagged a couple of points against either of those.
If only Man Utd could have beaten Wigan. After the elation of beating Liverpool, the champagne was put on ice after that result filtered through. I think it was one of the rare times that I was cheering on Fergie’s firing troops.
What about Djibril Cisse? We bought him to keep us up but he has missed seven games after picking up two red cards. He’s back now though and I have faith in him netting another few vital goals to keep us alive. He has the talent, just not the temperament.
The stage is set for an exciting climax to the campaign and I just hope we will be celebrating at the end of it all.
Come on your Rrrrrrrrrrrs.

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