View From the Opposition - QPR
1) What are your expectations for the season?
To my mind they are still quite tempered. Some are getting excited by some useful summer signings, but relatively speaking we've seen this level of excitment before in the Championship and all went sour. I think we have the right manager and owners in place, and once the players can re-create that excellent team ethic of last season I think we'll be good for a mid-table finish.
I don't think or hope we will be in the relegation mire once more, but nothing surprises me with Queens Park Rangers or the Premier League at large. We all saw how relative ambitions were achieved at the Etihad on a mad final day - all I hope and expect is that whatever happens, we have a comfortable end to the campaign.
2) Who are you most worried about in the City side?
Grant Holt is a player that I have always looked down on - and I can say that with a degree of humility. I have always thought of him as a lower league brute, a bully that would get found out fast, especially on the top level. He rather proved me wrong last season, much to my surprise and providing he can remain consistent he will be a big asset for City this season.
As daft as it may sound, Russell Martin - the bloke saves all his goals for QPR in a fixture I've never really relished at Carrow Road. Just look at our record there! Wes Hoolahan always seems to raise his game against us, while I'm sure Robert Snodgrass will be chomping at the bit to get off the mark in the top flight.
3) You`ve signed a lot of big names players over the summer and a couple since Saturday, which one are you most looking forward to see?
Jose Bosingwa is the only name we've signed since Saturday's debacle and we have strengthened where it matters most I'm pleased to say. We need defensive additions badly - Saturday, while potentially a blip, highlighted the need for additional options at the back. Three of our back four remained the same as last season, and add to that a disappointing debut by Fabio da Silva, it was a recipe for disaster.
While some are sceptical at signing veterans, I believe the Premier League experience of Ryan Nelsen and Bosingwa needs to be called upon in the coming weeks to add an air of assurance to a back four that looked distinctly at odd against Swansea City. Rob Green will evidently need to step up his game significantly with the back four, but the signing of Jose is a good start for us.
4) Are you unhappy with any of the signings?
Personally not at all. I think we've added very shrewdly and wisely. While many will continue to say we've panicked and are panicking, I think every signing has been thought through and has been an improvement on last season, which is essentially all you can ask - all for a fee of £1.5m - cannot argue with value for money.
Park Ji Sung, Andrew Johnson, Junior Hoilett, Ryan Nelsen, Samba Diakité, Rob Green, Fabio da Silva and Jose Bosingwa - to my mind all very good additions. Evidently after the opening day they will all be hoping for better - particularly Green, but I have the faith that these could prove to be excellent signings indeed.
5) Do you worry about the long-term future of the club?
It's a question of trust really. Having met and spoken to Tony Fernandes, I believe him to be a businessman, but also a man of his word. He is ambitious but realistic. I will say that I am happier being under his guidance than Messrs Briatore and Ecclestone who rather used the club to my mind. We just have to trust that he is doing the right thing and I do, others are more sceptical.
The one boarderline controversial decision he has made is the dismissal of Neil Warnock, but his replacement Mark Hughes kept QPR in the top flight - an undeniable statistic and therefore a correct decision - at whatever cost to club. Some argue Warnock would have turned it around, on the basis of seeing every game, it was getting worse, dramatically worse week on week - coming to a head in Milton Keynes in the FA Cup. Overall very pleased and trust the chairman.
6) If you could sign one more player this transfer window, who would it be and why?
A good central defender - while Michael Dawson has been mooted, I am not sure whether such a deal can come off. Someone experienced in top flight football and able to cope with the demands of the Premier League. It's not a secret that we've struggled defensively and I don't think we've done enought to address this situation.
A back up for Rob Green would also be good. Judging by Mark Hughes' comments, Brian Murphy will be going out on loan and Radek Cerny will be used very sparingly indeed - we need someoneon that can mount a realistic challenge to Green and help deter the kind of complacency we saw on opening day.
7) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?
I'll give you a hint - he tweets, he postulates, he kicks, but ultimately he lets you down. I have given Barton so many chances as a QPR player, but he continues to let the supporters down and make no apologies for doing so. Against Manchester City I was genuinely gutted with him. I like to see the good in everyone and see genuine change in a human being with a history of misguided episodes - it all came rushing back at the Etihad and had Stoke not done us a favour, we would have been relegated - Joey's actions being a key instigator.
When we signed him, it was a gamble and a gamble we needed to take. Now he is a gamble that we no longer need to take - he is an example of how far we have come in a year, and I will personally be glad to see the back of a man that hits out at others before examining his vast shortcomings. It pains me to say it, but he's let me and QPR supporters down and doesn't care a jot - sadly this leapord cannot change his spots.
8) Expected line up for the game?
Green (GK), Bosingwa (RB), Ferdinand (CB), Onuoha (CB), Fabio (LB), Ji (CM), Diakité (CM), Taarabt (AM), Hoilett (RW), Cisse (LW), Zamora (S)
9) What's your prediction for the game?
I did put Norwich down for relegation at the start of the season, and sadly I stick by that. I say sadly because I like Norwich and have a great deal of respect for them as a proper football club. We will be out to improve certainly and hopefully we can do that. But when you consider our record at Carrow Road, notably losing the title to Liverpool in 1976, it will be more than tough for us.
I am backing us to come out of trouble and claim a victory. 2-1 QPR.