McClaren on QPR’s budget, the youngsters, players linked and his relationship with Ferdinand

Steve McClaren spoke about a number of issues at his first media conference since taking over at QPR. Here’s some of what the new Rangers manager had to say.

On the challenge of managing QPR

“The biggest challenge will be taking this club forward. I think it’s still recovering.

“I was here five years ago and had a good three months with Harry (Redknapp) but the dressing room certainly needed sorting out.

“The last two years have been very good in terms of getting the house in order.”

On what attracted him to the job

“I’m excited by the squad and that’s the attraction for me. That’s what I’ve missed – the coaching and the building of a team.

“I came here five years ago and got to know the club. I loved the club, the supporters and the stadium.

“It has a history and a tradition about it. It was certainly difficult as an opponent to come here and when I was here the excitement from the stadium was fantastic.

“But I think the main thing was I’ve always kept in touch with Tony Fernandes. He wants to take this club forward.

“I’m here for that really. It’s all about good owners and in Tony and Ruben (Gnanalingam) I think QPR are in safe hands and want to go forward, want to invest and want to take QPR where they were three or four years ago.

“That’s what’s exciting about coming back here. And the squad. And what they (the club) plan. The youth. We need experience around that but it’s initially what you’d call a coaching job, developing players.

“This squad I believe is a very good squad; young, energetic, has got attitude and can play football.

“So for me it’s a perfect fit and I can’t wait to get started.”

On QPR’s budget

“It’s not about budgets. It’s not about big players. Yes that can get you a certain way, but there are clubs like Millwall, Brentford and Bristol City who have proved that you don’t have to have a massive budget to be a contender to get into the play-offs.

“The encouraging thing I see about this football club is that it’s probably at a stage where, over the next year, we can start going forward and progressing.

“I think it’s stable – 18th and 16th over the last two seasons – and we’re looking with this squad to add to it, add experience and if we do that we can progress.”

On how the budget compares to other clubs’

“That will be an interesting question that needs answering and I’ll find out over the next few days I’m sure.

“Everybody knows the troubles that QPR have experienced over recent years and the Financial Fair Play fine that they’ve had to (have been ordered to) pay. That’s obviously taken the club backwards.

“But I’ve got to credit everybody behind the scenes; the ownership, the board, the recruitment over the past two seasons and definitely over the next year or two it’s in a position where, instead of stabilising, going forward.

“It’s in recovery, it’s stable and now we need to take it forward.”

On whether he has been set targets

“None whatsoever. I’ve only been through the door two days. Targets are not set.

“The priority of course is winning football matches, which we’ll try to do every game, and try to do so in a certain style – and I believe with this squad we can achieve that.”

On Rangers’ youngsters

QPR: Ebere Eze

“They’ve already proved that at the end of the season when the young players were thrown in and did well.

“But of course to go forward and win consistently you need experience around that youth. That’s something that we’ll look towards.

“The next stage over the next year is to move forward, add experience and if we do that we can progress.”

On his two-year contract

“Contracts in football now? You don’t know. It’s not about contracts.

“If in two years you’re progressing and going forward – and that’s what I hope to do – I’m just pleased Queens Park Rangers have given me an opportunity to come back into the game at a coaching level and that in two years that we take the club forward. That’s the most important thing.”

On being linked with Chris Martin and Jamie Ward

“I suppose over the next few days and weeks we’ll be linked with everybody. That’s football.

“The key thing is we’ve got time to sit down, time to plan and to look ahead.”

On whether it’s important to make signings early

“It doesn’t matter. The right thing is getting the right players.

“And I’ve got to say the recruitment – I’ve spoken to (de facto chief scout) Gary Penrice and (analyst and scouting coordinator) Andy Belk who are in charge of recruitment here over the past two seasons, and the young players they’ve brought here have been very good.

“We want that to continue. So it’s not about the time it takes. But obviously you need the right players before the season starts.”

On his backroom staff

“It’s all been a quick process and I’ll be looking to add a couple of people to my backroom team. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to announce something soon.”

On his relationship with Les Ferdinand

QPR: Les Ferdinand
“Good. Good. Ex-pro, QPR legend and a legend in football. Has made the transition going into sport directorship and that’s interesting.

“It’ll be good over the next couple of days to plan and see what we can do to take Queens Park Rangers to the next level.”