QPR can still avoid the drop, says Ramsey


QPR interim manager Chris Ramsey. Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Queens Park Rangers boss Chris Ramsey says his side can still avoid an immediate relegation from the Premier League with nine matches to go before the end of the season.

Apart from a few weeks in December before the departure of Harry Redknapp, QPR have been close to the relegation zone ever since they won promotion through the Championship playoffs last May.

A poor run of form has left them 19th in the 20-team league, four points from safety, and QPR have won one and lost five of their six matches since Ramsey took over on Feb.4.

They suffered a demoralising 3-1 defeat at London rivals Crystal Palace last weekend, but are at home to Everton on Sunday.

"There were a few things we didn't stick to against Palace, but we're still in it and we believe we can get out of it," Ramsey told reporters.

"The players have got to pick themselves up. We've regrouped and we have to go again to get where we need to get to.

"Apart from the Crystal Palace game, the performances have been good. I don't like using the word unlucky -- but we have been unlucky in some of the games we've played. We've performed very well against teams like Arsenal and Tottenham."

Those two defeats, both by 2-1 scorelines, and both at home, hardened opinion that QPR are doomed because the only thing in their favour this season has been their decent form at Loftus Road.

Of their 22 points, 19 have come at home and only three away. They have played 14 away games and lost 13 of them.

Everton travel to QPR after playing the second leg of their Europa League round-of-16 tie at Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, but Ramsey is not counting on the ardours of their trip to Ukraine being a factor.

"It doesn't help us, it doesn't give us an advantage because they have a big squad and a quality manager," he said.

Referring to Everton's recent run of just two wins in 13 league matches since beating QPR 3-1 in December, Ramsey said: "I don't think about the opposition or what problems they might have.

"We need to prepare for each game, make sure we don't give away silly goals as we have been doing, and stay together."

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Julien Pretot/Alan Baldwin)

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