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QPR v West Ham: Ramsey expects ´blood and thunder´ derby

Chris Ramsey has urged QPR to play on the front foot from the off in their crucial “blood and thunder” Premier League London derby against West Ham on Saturday.

QPR are two points adrift of safety with just five matches remaining and return to action for the first time since suffering an agonising 1-0 loss to leaders Chelsea on April 12.

That match was settled by Cesc Fabregas’ 88th-minute strike, which was Chelsea’s first shot on target, after a valiant showing from QPR.

Manager Ramsey believes his side have been punished for a lack of concentration in recent weeks, but wants to take the match to West Ham as he seeks the first of three victories he feels are necessary to maintain their Premier League status.

“I’m fully expecting a blood and thunder London derby. We will be positive and on the front foot and going for the win,” he said.

“We’ve conceded a lot of late goals this season and we’re not happy about that. We really do need to stop conceding those late goals and keep concentrating right to the end.

“I’m not sure [what is needed to avoid relegation], if you win three games you are obviously going to stay up but I’m not sure. As long as we’re above the line come the end of May, I’ll be happy.”

QPR, who lost 2-0 in October’s corresponding fixture, could welcome Leroy Fer back from a two-month lay-off with a knee injury, but Rio Ferdinand (knock) remains on the sidelines with Eduardo Vargas (knee).

For West Ham, the remaining matches offer little else other than pride after an alarming dip in form in 2015.

The pressure has grown on manager Sam Allardyce after just two wins in the calendar year have seen West Ham slip from fourth place at Christmas to 10th.

Allardyce is aware that QPR are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, but demanded his players match their commitment. 

“We’ve made life far too difficult for ourselves, but we have to continue to make sure we do better than we are at the moment,” he said.

“We’ve got QPR and Burnley next who are fighting for their lives. We have to match that fight.

“The focus has to be that we have to try and finish the season on a high.” 

Guy Demel has picked up a calf injury, meaning he joins the likes of Diafra Sakho (thigh) and James Tomkins (shoulder) in the treatment room.

Thu 23 Apr, 2015
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