QPR kept their hopes of Premier League survive alive last night as they drew 3-3 at relegation rivals Aston Villa.
It could have been so much better for the Hoops, as they were 3-2 up until the 83rd men when Christian Benteke equalised for the home side.
The gap between QPR and 17th place Hull City is now a very narrow one of just two points. Chris Ramsey’s side are also just three points behind Villa and Sunderland in the Premier League table.
It now seems that the battle for the drop now only involves the teams currently occupying the bottom six positions in the table.
Everybody connected with the Hoops could be left ruing that late Christian Benteke equaliser in last night’s match. A win would have taken the R’s out of the bottom three and above Villa in the Premier League table.
However, at least the London side did not lose the game, which would have left them trailing Villa by a big gap of six points.
If QPR go down then it will not be for the lack of trying from star striker Charlie Austin, who has now scored 17 Premier League this season. Austin now has two goals and two assists in his last two Premier League appearances.
The former-Swindon striker is unlikely to be at Loftus Road next season if the Hoops are relegated. The England-hopeful has proven in recent years that he can be a prolific goalscorer in the lower leagues, but this season has proved that he can be in the top-flight.
At 25, Austin is a late bloomer on the big stage, but his goalscoring record for the Hoops has to be admired considering the Hoops present position in the Premier League table.
The last two games have seen a turnaround in QPR’s form. Prior to the weekend 4-1 win at West Brom they had suffered five straight Premier League defeats and were looking like relegation fodder.
However, the win at West Brom and the draw at Villa has put the Hoops right back in touching distance of the teams above them, who have not exactly been in stellar form themselves.
It seems the Hoops may just have stopped the rot in form just in time to attempt to save themselves from the dreaded drop into the Championship.
The QPR hierarchy showed tremendous faith in inexperienced Chris Ramsey when they placed him in charge after the departure of veteran boss Harry Redknapp. The former-Spurs coach had no managerial experience, but a wealth of coaching experience.
Director of Football Les Ferdinand revealed recently that the club have every faith in Ramsey to be a success in the job. If the Hoops survive the drop then it will have been a good decision, but if they go down then Ramsey is very likely to be heading through the Loftus Road exit door at the end of the campaign.
That faith showed in the inexperienced boss may just have been misplaced, as even veteran boss Redknapp was struggling to be successful with the current Hoops squad.
QPR face a difficult challenge this weekend as they welcome neighbours and Premier League leaders Chelsea to Loftus Road.
The Blues may just be slightly complacent with a big lead at the top of the table and are also without star striker Diego Costa. There never is a good time to face Chelsea, but maybe the Hoops could just pull off a shock victory.
One thing that works in the Hoops favour this weekend is that their relegation rivals also have relatively tough fixtures.
Sunderland host in-form Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light, Hull travels to Southampton, Villa travel to Spurs and Burnley host in-form Arsenal at Turf Moor. None of those games appear o be easy ones.
QPR have now given themselves a chance of surviving the drop this season. The Hoops are currently favourites to be relegated at odds of 1/ 4, while Leicester are odds of 3/1, Burnley are 4/6, Hull are 6/4, Sunderland are 5/2 and Aston Villa are 11/4.
The Hoops cannot be written-off even at this late stage, as the recent victory at West Brom proved they can pick-up surprise victories. No doubt QPR will keep battling to the end and will not go down without a fight.
Will QPR be relegated from the Premier League this season?