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Harry Houdini?

The dawn of a new era is upon us, and the winds of change can be felt to an extent at Old Trafford with a refreshing performance with fight and gusto in spadefuls.

In essence if you listened close enough you could probably hear the winds of change, such was the atmosphere at Old Trafford - chants seldom heard, more the sound of camera shutters and endless sighing and tutting that met a misplaced pass.

The travelling fans backed their team this weekend like never before this campaign. They could see that for the shortcomings, more evident than ever in terms of set-pieces, there was a determination and desire instilled that had not been present previously.

The spine of that QPR line-up will explain why, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry, Jamie Mackie - by no means as gifted as some in the squad, but those willing to put in a shift and stop the opposition from playing - something which worked effectively for large spells.

Their ability to break up the game, put in that extra step to make a tackle, track that extra yard to cover their team-mates, and as the Al Pacino 'Any Given Sunday' speech - the one the club seems reliant on during times of trouble - will tell you:

'You add up all those extra inches, and that's the difference between winning and losing' - On this occasion, not; at Sunderland, perhaps.

Despite the defeat and indeed the manner of defeat, everyone saw it as a pivotal moment. Players were applauded from the field, fans went away with a smile on their face if not with the result, and it gave Harry Redknapp an opportunity to see first hand the major problems that blight QPR.

Harry will have no doubt had them out on the training pitch Sunday morning, dicecting just why players are allowed to drive an arctic through our defence and nod a free header beyond an unprotected Julio Cesar - something I expect will need to be addressed against a dour set-piece-based side as Sunderland are.

Martin O'Neill has never been in the class of a Tony Pulis, and indeed I would never put him in that category - but I would base his style of management in the simplicities of the game.

Quick wingers, target men and set-pieces drilled into them and imprinted on their mind and memory throughout any given fixture. Defend accordingly against Sunderland and opportunities will be there to score goals, as West Bromwich Albion showed at the weekend.

That fight and desire will be required in abundance tomorrow evening with Harry's tenure getting off to a difficult but winnable start. It would be Rangers' first away win in a year, but that is a record that can be left at Mark Hughes' door and hopefully usher in a new prosperous era.

Hopefully this is the start of Harry Houdini and not Harry Hou-done-it.




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The journalist

Writer: Boxer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 26 2012

Time: 12:40PM

 

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