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Exclusive: Marti Cifuentes positive QPR avoids relegation after reigniting confidence

QPR gaffer gives us some insights on the team’s mental moving forward.

Shane MacDermott
S. MacDermott

Last Updated: 2024-04-04

Louis Hobbs

3 minutes read

QPR football coach Marti Cifuentes during a match

Focusing on “things we can control” 

Boss Marti Cifuentes believes his experience of football relegation battles will help Queens Park Rangers (QPR) avoid the drop this season.

The Hoops enjoyed a fruitful Easter weekend as back-to-back wins over Birmingham City and Swansea City fired the West London club six points clear of the Championship trapdoor.

It has been a remarkable turnaround since the Spaniard took over at Loftus Road.

The club looked destined for the drop after an eight-game winless run and sat four points adrift of safety in 22nd.

And Cifuentes, who led Sandefjord to their best-ever finish in 2020 when they were expected to struggle, said: “I have a lot of experiences before with teams who were fighting relegation.

“It’s always something in common, it’s always a lack of confidence because of the results. 

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A lack of results means a lack of confidence.

“The main message since we arrived was we had a target and we need to work hard to reach that target.

“We need to try and get the best out of ourselves to achieve that target and focus on our performances.

“Focusing on the results is useless, no one can control the results. We need to focus on things we can control like our identity, what are we good at? What can we improve on? How do you make sure we perform week after week?

“Because that consistency is so key and that’s when a team can collect points so that’s where our focus has been.”

Maintaining the streak 

The Hoops are the form team in the bottom nine and Cifuentes knows putting a decent run together now could save them from a nervy end of season.

“We are at that point of the season where every victory is so massive, so massive,” he told Sportsboom.

“It’s huge not only for how it looks on the table, but also emotionally. 

Image Credits: QPR's X account

Image Credits: QPR's X account

“We know that we are at this stage that every step we make is very difficult because every team is fighting for a lot, but it is massive.

“All of us are aware that now is where the real business in the season is happening.

“The last six games of the season are so important and the most important thing for me is we put ourselves in a situation that three months ago it was difficult to achieve.

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We have deserved this opportunity and now we have to show we are capable of staying up.

Showcasing commitment to the goal through results

And Cifuentes has hailed the fight the squad have shown since he came into the club to replace Gareth Ainsworth back in October.

“Since my first day, the commitment has been excellent.

“Some days we have played better football or better performances, but this team have been working really hard.

“The proof is that we have achieved some late goals in extra time, important goals.

“We’re always pushing until the end of the games even when we’re drawing to try and win the game and that shows this team is committed.

“No one can blame the players for not showing the fight because they have been excellent.”

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Shane MacDermott
Shane MacDermott Sports Writer

Shane is a respected journalist who has covered a range of sports for a number of years.