Holloway on transfers, Cousins, a new system and QPR ‘proving everybody wrong’

QPR: Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway spoke about a number of issues at a news conference on Monday morning to preview the new season, which gets under way with a home match against Reading on Saturday. Here’s some of what the QPR manager had to say.

Holloway on Steven Caulker

QPR: Steven Caulker

“I’m delighted to have him back. That is a potential England centre-half.

“He has only just been training with me. It was pretty well documented; his article in the newspaper was really open – as open as I’ve ever seen any footballer.

“Part of me was really sad about that, part of me was pleased and proud of him to actually admit that.

“Now he is in a fantastic place and he wants to come back and he wants to work and I can’t believe that I’m the lucky person who will get to work with him. The lads feel the same way.

“For me, now, it’s about helping him, to keep playing, keep working and keep improving.”

On the lack of signings

“No-one’s to blame for that. I don’t know why fans look at that. It’s not about who you sign it’s about who we’ve already got.

“We’ll get ahead of the game eventually – (scouting chief) Gary (Penrice) has only just come in.

“We’ve got a big meeting today about where we are and who might be available. I’m looking to try and add in certain areas if I can. I’m not going to say who they are or where they are because that’s disrespectful to my players.”

On Ariel Borysiuk

“I’ve got Borysiuk back and he’s like a new signing for me. He’s fitter and healthier than he was last year. That’s a Polish international.

“I’m delighted with how he’s showing me how he wants to play for us. I didn’t really give him that chance last year, did I?

“He’s got a World Cup to try to get ready for next summer, which is a huge incentive. So has Pawel Wszolek and Massimo Luongo.”

On the transfer window

“The transfer window is all wrong. You should never have to slam shut a window. You should never have to cram a squad together.

“How do you know who’s going to get injured? It’s not working. We’re having these rules thrust upon us by an organisation I don’t agree with at times.”

On injuries to Grant Hall and Jordan Cousins

“There’s always somebody in your squad who’s not fit, suspended or injured.

“Grant is important for us, with his ability at the back and to step forward with the ball. You only have to look at our stats last season to see we struggled to get results without him.

“Jordan I am absolutely gutted for. I have never seen such an unbelievable athlete in my life.

“We sent him away at the end of last year. He was having some issues; it was his thigh and then his hamstring. There must be something that we’ve got to try and look at, because he’s got a tear in his hamstring this time.

“It’s nothing to do with the work we’ve done. It must be something to do with him.

“He still feels upbeat about it. He feels better and much more positive. We haven’t seen the best of him yet and we might have to wait a few weeks before we do.”

On his players’ fitness

“I’m absolutely delighted with the shape the boys are in. That was the first target: to make sure how fit they are compared to before.

“The stats, which show where certain people are and how we managed to get them there, are absolutely fantastic – it is really phenomenal.

“The focus had to be on getting everyone fully fit. We had people who couldn’t train every day and trained half the week and not the rest of the week.

“Everyone is training the whole week, which is amazing. That’s the difference.”

On choosing a formation

“Where we are shape-wise and team development is probably a bit behind where I want.

“Now the boys are going to hone down on what we need to do. I’ve decided what shape I’m going to try and stick to. We’re going to be working on that over and over and over again.

“Some of the shapes I’ve played before don’t suit this group. Now I’ve got a QPR shape I think the boys are going to grow with and get better at.

“We’re going to nail it down. I’m not going to change it over and over again. We’re going to play a certain way. It might be predictable, but I don’t care. We’ll get better and better at it.”

On fears QPR might struggle

“I’ve had seasons where I’ve been told I’m not going to get 10 points, let alone 10 wins.

“It’s down to us being proud of what we’re doing and proving everybody wrong.

“You look at the way things were before and if things don’t change it’ll stay the same. We’re planning to change things.

“We’ve got a long, gruelling, wonderful season ahead of us that I can’t wait to get started.”