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Friday, February 27, 2009

Sousa: Promotion in 2010...Bhatia on QPR Improvement

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David McIntyre/Ealing Gazette - QPR's Sousa has on eye on 2010 promotion
- Coach Paulo Sousa still believes QPR can reach the play-offs - but admits he already has one eye on next season's promotion bid.
- Last weekend's dismal 3-1 defeat at home to Ipswich left Rangers 11th in the Championship table, where they remained after Wednesday night's 0-0 draw at Cardiff.
- Rangers are still in contention for a top-six finish but the loss to Ipswich was a particularly big blow.
- Sousa said: "My aim is still to create a good base looking to the future and I hope next season to be looking for [promotion to] the Premier League. But when you are close to the play-offs, you need to think about them."
- Saturday's debacle left Rangers under pressure to win at in-form Cardiff, where a draw would usually be a more than decent result.
- Wayne Routledge and Heidar Helguson missed chances to win it for the Rs, but Sousa insists their playoff bid is still very much alive.
- "There are five or six teams very close to each other," he said.
- "We played very well against a Cardiff team that wants to be in the Premier League next season and, after the bad performance against Ipswich, we showed we can play good football.
- "We played well and created a lot of chances but we still need to win these games. When we don't get three points after playing so well it is frustrating, but I'm always proud of the players."
- Finishing outside the top six would not be what many fans had expected, but vice-chairman Amit Bhatia has insisted that this season should still be regarded as a success even if Rangers fail to make the play-offs.
- Bhatia said: "I measure success by the question 'are we doing better?'
- "When we first got involved with the club we were last and we finished 14th, so that was success. If we finish seventh this season we will again definitely have shown an improvement.
- "Are we improving as a club? I think we are. I think we're heading in the right direction but just like any supporter, I want to do better than seventh and reach those play-offs and feel we can do it with a good run. "We're still on the right track. We've shown progressive success and as long as we continue to do well, there's no reason why we won't play in the Premier League and I hope we will."
- A win at Barnsley tomorrow (Saturday) would boost those hopes ahead of a vital home match against Norwich on Tuesday night.
- Spanish midfielder Jordi Lopez could well play a part in at least one of those games following his recent move to Loftus Road.
- The former Real Madrid and Sevilla player was on the substitutes' bench at Cardiff and was expected to play in a reserve game on Thursday, which was about to played as the Gazette went to press. Ealing Gazette

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