Thursday, 19 May 2011

Warnock speaks to Shepherd's Bush Blog: We'll do the best we can

Neil Warnock meets Shepherd's Bush Blog
Speaking to me at a civic reception yesterday evening hosted by our Council to congratulate QPR on their promotion to the premiership Neil Warnock had a simple message for the fans of Loftus Road - that he would do everything in his power to keep them up.
"I'll do the best I can with whatever funds I'm given to stay up, because we're all united in wanting to sustain premiership football at QPR." 
That might have seemed like he was stating the obvious but the current  premiership relegation dogfight involving more than a handful of teams that could in theory join West Ham in the drop underlines the scale of the task. And it's clear that one of the main ingredients in meeting that challenge is going to be money, and how much of it the owners make available to Warnock to give the Rs a fighting chance.

Paying rich tribute to the fans of Loftus Road the manager talked warmly about the "special atmosphere" created by what he called "the closeness of the ground" and the way in which the W12 faithful got behind the players at every game. Surprisingly for me Mr Warnock said he thought that at first some of the fans had not been too sure about his appointment but he said "it's take me as you find me, and we soon built a good relationship". I'll say.

Mayor Adroni Alfrod, QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini and Neil Warnock
Addressing the reception the Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr Adronie Alford, thanked the team on behalf of the people of the Borough which, though only four miles long now had three premiership sides, she said. And Councillor Harry Phibbs, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, underlined what this meant for Shepherd's Bush - £700,000 per year for local businesses for starters. I'm a big fan of Cllr Phibbs, a local Top Tory who can point to parts of the Bush that he has cleaned up, and in true form he couldn't resist directing a comment to Gianni Paladini, Chairman of QPR, that he looked forward to seeing some donations from the new Premiership side to some local good causes in W12. Good on you, Cllr Phibbs. Messrs Warnock and Paladini were then presented with plaques of the Borough to mark the Council's congratulations.

Reflecting on his year in Shepherd's Bush thus far, Neil Warnock told me that it "has been an amazing ride, and to end up gaining promotion has been a fantastic achievement." He said it had "given Loftus Road its' pride back" and that he'd only really felt just how much it had meant when he'd been out and about in the area and stopped to talk to people.

It's been a long time since QPR were in the top flight. Let's hope Neil is backed by the Board to keep us there.

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