x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wigan Athletic 2 Queens Park Rangers 2

QPR now officially have the worst winless start to a Premier League season.

QPR's Ryan Nelsen, left, scored his first goal for the club against Wigan yesterday. Chris Brunskill / Getty Images
QPR's Ryan Nelsen, left, scored his first goal for the club against Wigan yesterday. Chris Brunskill / Getty Images

Wigan // The Swindon Town team of 1993/94 have many a place in the record books, all of them for unwanted reasons, but now one of them can be removed.

They had officially the worst winless start to a Premier League season. Now they have been superseded by Queens Park Rangers. Sixteen games have not yielded a single victory. They are out on their own.

While that Swindon side were a collection of lower league players promoted beyond their capabilities, this Rangers team are a rather more garlanded group. It makes their failure all the more ignominious.

While, in the context of a calamitous campaign, a draw at Wigan Athletic may appear a highlight and it did extend Harry Redknapp's unbeaten run to three games, this was another damaging afternoon for the basement club.

QPR, who led through Djibril Cisse in the final 20 minutes, lost a lead. Wigan were depleted but not defeated.

It may be a simplification but Rangers failed to beat a team without a defence. Of Wigan's four premier centre-backs, two were suspended and two sidelined.

The resulting problems were apparent in both of QPR's goals. For the first, Ryan Nelsen escaped Adrian Lopez, making a rare start, to head in his first goalfor the club. The second followed a misplaced pass from Lopez, aimed for Emmerson Boyce, that allowed Shaun Wright-Phillips to set up Cisse.

At which point, Redknapp said: "I thought it was going to be our lucky day."

It was not. James McCarthy met Jean Beausejour's pass and angled his shot into the corner of the net for his second goal of the game.

"He is a top, top player," said his manager, Roberto Martinez.

He is also the sort of player that Rangers rarely target. He was signed from Hamilton Academical as an unknown 18 year old. QPR, in contrast, target the rich and famous.

"I'd love to get Robbie [Keane]," said Redknapp, eyeing a January loan move for the LA Galaxy striker. "He's the type of lad you need in this situation."

Their predicament is so severe, he said, that without an immediate upturn in results, Rangers should not break the bank in the transfer window. "If we don't win a game or two [before January], I wouldn't ask the owners to spend any more money," he added. "It would be unfair."

And yet, even as he said that, Redknapp outlined the need for recruits.

"We left ourselves with a squad that's got no balance," he said. "We are short of strikers."

So short, indeed, that he started without a specialist, with winger Jamie Mackie leading the line before Cisse was summoned from the bench. Selected to score goals, Mackie inadvertently helped concede the first. He headed Beausejour's corner out to McCarthy and, in an attempt to block, got a telling deflection to the Wigan midfielder's shot. It was Adel Taarabt, however, who lost McCarthy.

"The man on the edge of the box stands there picking his nose," said Redknapp.

It was the first of a series of shots from McCarthy. David Jones and substitute Mauro Boselli were also denied by the excellent Robert Green, while Jordi Gomez struck the bar.

"We didn't get the three points and we can only blame ourselves for that," Martinez added.

QPR only have seven for the season. Thirty-eight are often required for survival.

"I'm hoping it's going to be about 14 this year," quipped Redknapp.

 

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