Rob Green admits his season at QPR has been a nightmare – and says the decision to sell Heidar Helguson was a major factor in their demise.
Helguson, instrumental in Rangers’ promotion two years ago and Cardiff’s success this season, was allowed to leave Loftus Road last summer.
He was the club’s top scorer in the Premier League last term, with former manager Neil Warnock having persuaded Rangers’ owners not to show the Icelandic striker the door.
Helguson was eventually moved on after an injury-affected campaign – a decision goalkeeper Green believes has backfired.
Green told West London Sport : “Robin van Persie has scored about as many goals as us this season. I think that says it all really.
“The lack of goals has been clear for all to see and I think Andrew Johnson getting injured and missing the season hasn’t helped.
“For me, another factor has been that the top scorer from last season was sold. That was a big decision.
“I say that with no disrespect to Jay [Bothroyd], who has also not played many games and has managed to score and play well when he has come in.
“But to sell someone like Helguson, who helped the club get up, was the top scorer last season and has helped Cardiff get promoted this season, I think had an effect.”
Green was one of a host of arrivals at Loftus Road in the summer, when the likes of Helguson were told they had no future at the club.
There was also a desire to replace stalwarts like Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie, who were seen as surplus to requirements.
Green added: “You look at the way the other promoted clubs went about things and it was very different.
“I was at West Ham when they came up and they’ve taken a steady approach, just as the likes of Stoke have done in previous years.
“Obviously we had a different situation, with lots of players coming in, and it hasn’t worked out.
“You look at someone like Clint and the job he’s done for the team this season.
“And even when you look at the decent run we had around the time of the change of manager, it was when Shaun and Jamie were brought back in.”
Green himself was brought in to replace a key member of QPR’s promotion-winning side, Paddy Kenny, whose departure was an acrimonious one.
But after the England international made a poor start to his Rangers career, the club could not resist Julio Cesar when presented with a chance to sign the Brazilian from Inter Milan.
It meant Green spent much of the season watching from the sidelines.
“I want to play in every game and didn’t join QPR not to play,” he admitted.
“When it seems predetermined that you’re not going to play, it’s very frustrating.
“We’ve won six matches this season and I’ve played in five of them.
“If it was a case of ‘if you play well and the team’s winning you keep your place’ I might have played more, but that’s not happened.
“What I’ve had to do is just take things with a pinch of salt and accept that this year I’m not going to be playing a lot.”