x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Premier League: Dismal draw between QPR and Reading send both teams to relegation

A win for either team would have kept faint hopes alive but Reading and Queens Park Rangers played to a scoreless tie on Sunday, which sealed relegation for both clubs.

Pavel Pogrebnyak, left, and Adam Le Fondre of Reading are dejected after failing to score Sunday against QPR. Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
Pavel Pogrebnyak, left, and Adam Le Fondre of Reading are dejected after failing to score Sunday against QPR. Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Reading 0 Queens Park Rangers 0

Man of the match Clint Hill (Queens Park Rangers)

Reading and Queens Park Rangers were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday after the teams played a dreary 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium, which ended their survival hopes.

A win for either would have kept alive a slender chance of staying up, at least until Aston Villa's game with Sunderland on Monday.

Both sides were guilty of wasting the few chances that fell their way as they bowed out of the top flight with a whimper.

Both looked racked with nerves during a goal-less stalemate.

Reading and QPR are both nine points behind Aston Villa, in 17th position, with three games remaining, but a complicated equation means there is no chance of either avoiding the drop.

If Wigan and Villa lose their next three games they will go into the final day on 32 and 34 points respectively, while back to back wins for QPR and Reading win would give them 31 points ahead of the last match.

QPR have been backed heavily by the Malaysian owner Tony Fernandes over the past 12 months, but manager Harry Redknapp concedes their expensively assembled squad will not find it easy to win an immediate return to the Premier League.

"Next year, it will be very difficult to get promoted, there are some good teams," he told Sky Sports.

"For us to get promoted, we have to come back in pre-season and get super fit.

"It will be a big challenge; lots of good teams in the Championship. There are 15 big teams. It's a real good challenge."

Redknapp is hopeful QPR could become a force to reward Fernandes for his sizable investment.

"I will get to see him this week and we will have some meetings and talk about things going forward, with the team, with the players" he said.

The financial impact of relegation from the world's most popular domestic league is estimated to be between £40 million (Dh227m) and £50m, with both missing out on a share of a £3 billion television deal for the Premier League starting next season.

He also acknowledged he expected a tough season in the fight for an immediate return.

"QPR have got no divine right to come back up next season," he said. "You will see 14, 15, 16 clubs in the Championship who have won things - Notts Forest, Derby, Leicester, Blackburn, Burnley were a big club in the '60s - all big clubs in the Championship - we are going into it next year and it will be hard to get out of it, make no doubt about that.

"There is a whole lorry-load of them, Leeds United one of the greatest clubs in football history, there are massive clubs.

"Winning is a lovely habit, but it is very hard when you have been losing all year and you are expected to win every week."

Reading return to the Championship just 12 months after being promoted as second-tier champions and manager Nigel Adkins wants them to learn the lessons of their top-flight failure.

"I have told the players to bottle up the feeling, as it is never nice to get relegated, and make sure they never feel that way again," he said. "For any new, promoted team, it is a challenge to stay up.

"The Premier League is a ruthless division. We must now build for the future and learn the lessons well from this season.

"The fact of the matter is, we're down. We needed to win and we haven't. What we have to do now is get ourselves ready for the Championship.

"We know where we are going to be for next season now. We have players who have experienced the Championship, but like all clubs, there will certainly be players coming and going.

"We learned the lessons from being in the Premier League and the objective will be to get back to the Premier League.

"I've been here for five games now. What happened previously is something that was not in my control. All I can do is look at the players, their attitude and application there are a lot of positives. We're looking to play a certain way."

Despite a poor points return from their season to date, Adkins remains confident he has seen signs of progress since he was appointed.

"I think when we look at it, we have only won four all season," he said. "Since Arsenal to now, I think we have improved. Everyone can see the ideas we are trying to implement.

"We've got a really good group of players, they won the Championship last season, but unfortunately, the Premier League got away from us this year.

"The lads have given us everything on the training ground and in games and I gave a lot of respect for the players for doing that."

Joey Barton rips QPR teammates after relagation

Joey Barton launched a withering attack on the QPR squad just seconds after the club were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday. Barton, who is on a season-long loan from QPR to the French Ligue 1 club Marseille, was quick to offer an opinion on where it went wrong for the West London club.

“I can’t believe QPR have just been relegated and [Jose] Bosingwa was walking down the tunnel laughing,” he wrote on Twitter. “Embarrassing. Show some guts man … Gutted for the club. To many [bad eggs] among the playing staff. All brought in by [former manager Mark] Hughes. Some good lads but not enough. Too many maggots … League table doesn’t lie.”


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