Reading-Queens Park Rangers Preview
LONDON (SE) - The only teams without a win in the Premier League this season meet at Loftus Road on Sunday when Queens Park Rangers host Reading.
QPR are bottom of the table with just three points from their nine matches. However, manager Mark Hughes has pointed to a run of tricky fixtures - including matches against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton - and is confident that his side will improve.
"In recent weeks we've gone up against teams in the top half of the table and we've acquitted ourselves really well but haven't got the points we felt we deserved," said Hughes in his official pre-match press conference. "Now we're going up against teams in or around us and they take on real significance because we need to get maximum points.
"We can do everything correctly but you get a curve ball and the roof falls in and you can't do anything about it. We've lost soft goals and lost people to red cards, obviously against Arsenal last weekend that was significant. On occasion we haven't helped ourselves either in terms of defending correctly. All those have contributed to where we are and why we haven't picked up as many points as we should have. We need address that really, really quickly. The guys have been excellent this week and we're really looking forward to the game."
Visitors Reading will be reeling from a week in which they have scored eight goals in two games… and failed to win either of them. The Royals' 7-5 defeat to Arsenal in the League Cup will go down as one of the most memorable cup ties in recent years, but manager Brain McDermott is hopeful that his players will be stronger for the experience.
"Everyone was in shock in the dressing room afterwards," said McDermott in his Thursday afternoon press-conference at the Madejski Stadium. "We were really disappointed with the outcome. Things went against us in the game but we were 4-0 up and we understand we needed to finish the job off. We didn't manage to do that but we'll learn from it and get stronger.
"The hardest thing in this league is to score goals and we are scoring goals. The easiest thing is to defend the goal and as a group we need to do that better. Individual errors have cost us and every time we have made an error this season it has cost us with a goal. So we need to cut the errors out and, once we do that, we will win games."
QPR have doubts over Ji-Sung Park (knee), Keiron Dyer (calf) and Fabio (hamstring), while Andrew Johnson is out with a long-term knee injury. Reading have concerns over Danny Guthrie (thigh), while Jem Karacan (knee) is out.
This is the first meeting between two winless teams in the English top flight since 1970 (West Ham v Burnley). The last time that these teams met was two seasons ago in the Championship, when Rangers did the double over Reading, and this will be the first time these clubs have ever met in the top tier of English football. QPR have lost four of their last five matches in the league, but all of those defeats were by just a single goal.