Mbia: Players have given QPR fans nothing

The tough-tackling midfielder gave a frank assessment of the performances by the west London side so far this season, but feels boss Harry Redknapp can lead the team to survival
Stephane Mbia admits he and his fellow QPR team-mates have given the club's fans "hardly anything" in return for their support as the west London side remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League going into the new year.

The Hoops are 20th in the division with just one win from 19 games, and are eight points from safety following a disastrous start to the 2012-13 campaign which has seen Harry Redknapp replace Mark Hughes as manager.

However, despite having only 10 points and with relegation looking increasingly likely, the 26-year-old midfielder believes the squad are strong enough to stay up and now have a manager who can inspire survival.

"People have spent hard-earned money on tickets for games, they've been through so much and we've given them hardly anything in return," Mbia told The Guardian.

"You have to give something back. People say some footballers live in their own little world, where it's all about expensive watches, glitz and glamour, but that life's all false.

"I give everything, I try all the time, because I realise I have an opportunity. Life's simple as a footballer."

QPR's form has improved under new boss Redknapp, but Sunday's match against Liverpool will be a crucial one for the side - and Mbia feels the team have to stick together and battle as a unit to succeed.

"We have senior players in the squad who can inspire the others and, even if this is all new to me, I have experience.

"I have come from a club expecting to challenge for the title [Marseille] to one struggling at the bottom, but we can survive.

"We're learning every week. We have a manager who will get the best out of us so, if we stay united and keep working, it'll come."

Mbia, who was signed by previous QPR boss Mark Hughes in August, revealed that adapting to the combative nature of the Premier League has been a culture shock, but says he is now relishing the rough and tumble of the English top flight - although the battles have left their marks.

"[It] surprised me. The football's so intense: it's like the Champions League, almost the same level, and there's never any let-up.

"Back in France I used to go through some games without breaking into a sweat but here you can't catch your breath.

"Whether I'm playing in midfield or at the back, I'm up against giants and you take so much physical damage. I come away exhausted, covered in cuts and bruises.

"Against West Ham Andy Carroll had caught me with an elbow and, when I complained to the referee, he just said: 'Welcome to England.' I just thought 'Wow'. And I'm big, I'm strong but it's still taken its toll."

QPR host Liverpool at Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon, and a win against the Reds would put the struggling side within five points of 17th-placed Aston Villa.