Belfast Telegraph

Ramsey retains survival hope

It is back to the drawing board for manager Chris Ramsey after embattled QPR fell to an uninspiring defeat at Crystal Palace.

The west Londoners have just five points to show from their last 12 top-flight matches, putting their Premier League status at serious risk.

Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Selhurst Park was the latest hammer blow, making it four straight defeats after Ramsey last month oversaw Rangers' first away win of the campaign.

Morale had been boosted by that victory but now they are hurtling towards the Championship, with the first-half capitulation against Palace a particular concern.

"We'll go for it as best we can," Ramsey said, looking ahead to the final nine matches.

"The players are disappointed. They're still unified in what we're trying to do and all we can do is keep fighting.

"The only thing we can do is go back to the drawing board, there's nothing else we can do.

"I know there are Rangers fans out there whose weekend will have been spoilt by this result.

"They live, die and breath football every weekend, and that's what hurts me the most."

While QPR are staring down the barrel, the Eagles now look all-but certain of avoiding relegation.

Alan Pardew has done a remarkable job since taking the reins in January, building an eight-point cushion over the drop zone having arrived with Palace in it.

"Mathematically of course we're not safe but we're in a great position and we would have snapped someone's hand off to be in this position at this stage, whoever the manager was," he said.

"I said to the players when I arrived to look above because if you look below there is anxiety and pressure. You can't play like that.

"You have to try to get above Newcastle, whoever is above us. We're above Everton, that was a bit of a goal for us. Can we stay above them? There is plenty of motivations in our group to stay where we want to stay.

"I think 11th or 12th is top of the league for this team at the moment for where we are at the moment. I n the summer, if we are clever enough it might not be."

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