With Queens Park Rangers on the cusp on winning the Championship and gaining promotion we take a look back at the team that was last in the Premiership.
Back in the 1995-96 season QPR lost their fight to stay in the Premiership and were relegated and it has been a long and hard road for them to get back taking sixteen years.
That season saw some names still spoken about today in their team, namely Blackpool manager Ian Holloway and ex Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins. Ray Wilkins was their player-manager, something that seems to have died now, when Gerry Francis resigned. That team also had the attacking likes of Andy Impey and Trevor Sinclair. The previous seasons had players like Clive Wilson, Darren Peacock and Sir Les (Les Ferdinand) in the team. Ferdinand signed for Newcastle for a club record £6 million. Peacock had already moved to Newcastle by that time and Clive Wilson moved to Tottenham with former QPR manager Gerry Francis signing him.
It has been a long time now since QPR have featured in the Premiership, but when they do, and if they can keep a hold of their star player, they could recreate some of the magic they showed all those years ago. Abel Taarabt has really come along this season, showing the promise Spurs saw in him when they signed him, and on loan signing Wayne Routledge has shown his ability that he didn’t show while at Newcastle. With those two it is reminiscent of Impey and Sinclair. The one thing they may lack is a Les Ferdinand like player.
The transfers during the summer will be very interesting to see how Neil Warnock bolsters him side. No doubt he will try and make the loan signing a permanent one, and look to keep Taarabt as they are not looking to be making a short appearances in the league, and will be looking to stay in the league an better what they did all those years ago. But that is going to a hard feat as at their peak in the Premiership they finished 8th, and nowadays there is a lot of competition for those places.
Along with QPR, Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Burnley and Leeds are looking to get back into the top flight, while Millwall look to reach the Premiership for the first time long with Welsh clubs Swansea and Cardiff.
But for QPR, who look destined to to come back home, it’s been far too long.