McClaren 'surprised' by QPR relegation

The 52-year-old has joined Harry Redknapp's coaching staff at Loftus Road ahead of the new Championship season but feels the squad had enough talent to survive in the top flight
New QPR coach Steve McClaren believes the Rs had enough quality to remain in the Premier League last season, calling their relegation a "surprise".

The Loftus Road outfit finished bottom last term with a points tally of just 25 after winning four games despite heavy financial investment in the squad.

And McClaren, who joined Harry Redknapp’s coaching staff last week, is now keen to help build a team capable of an immediate return to the top flight.

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"It surprised me, initially. From the talent that was bought last summer," he told the club’s official website.

"But talent is nothing. You’ve got to get blend, you’ve got to get balance, you’ve got to get commitment, you’ve got to get team-work.

"That’s the key. It’s not about looking at the past, it’s about saying, 'What do we need to do now?'

"The team got relegated, so there are problems. And we have to solve those problems, on the field and off the field. That’s what Harry’s doing. They key thing is we’ve got to build a team. That’s the most important thing."

The former Middlesbrough, Wolfsburg and Twente boss says he is enjoying being back on the training pitch after a brief spell out of the game, and has been impressed by the work ethic of the QPR squad.

"It’s great to be here," he added. "Harry has given me an opportunity to come along and help, and so far it’s been a pleasure.

"In the time I’ve been working with the players, I must say they are working hard and focused. They're working on the basics and getting fit."