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Queens Park Rangers FC have survived an almighty relegation scare. The West London club couldn't have wished for a more dreadful start to their 2023-24 SkyBet Championship campaign under Gareth Ainsworth, starting off with a 4-0 opening season loss to Watford FC at Vicarage Road and from there, things very quickly began to spiral out of control with QPR sitting firmly in the bottom three by late-October 2023 with only 8 points to their name: 2 wins, 2 draws and 10 losses after 14 games.

The drums were beating and the club had to make the move with manager Ainsworth sacked after a sixth straight defeat left them 23rd & six points from safety. Much to the surprise of QPR fans & the football media, Queens Park Rangers announced the appointment of Martí Cifuentes as the club’s new manager on Halloween - 31st October 2023.

The Spanish tactician got to work immediately on the challenging task of turning the tide for the struggling Championship team. His first task was an away trip to struggling Rotherham on 5th November 2023 and had to settle for his first point with a 1-all draw as he got to grips on the playing squad he had at his disposal, at least, until the next Transfer window opened in January 2024. It took a couple of attempts but finally QPR broke their winless streak with a thumping 4-2 win over Stoke City at home on 27th November 2024 which started a string of wins in a row for the Hoops. However, old habits resurfaced for Martí and his men and QPR then went on another horrid winless run of 9 matches, picking up only 3 points along the way. Despite that poor run, teams in and around the relegation zone hadn't faired much better and QPR were only 3 points from safety sitting in 22nd place, with still a lot of work to be done.

The club continued to have very little room to move in their transfer budget but Martí was able to bring in loans and free transfer reinforcements, and much needed experience, in form of Michael Frey, Isaac Hayden, Joe Hodge & Lucas Andersen. From early February, QPR found much needed momentum at the right time with 6 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses, which included big results against promotion chasing Leicester City away & a crucial six-pointer against Birmingham City at home.

Rangers eventually finished the job with impressive home wins in front of sell out crowds against Preston & promotion chasing Leeds Utd, thumping them 4-0 on a magical Friday night under lights to ensure safety in the Sky Bet Championship in Season 2023-24 with one match left to go.

The commemorate the improbable task that Martí Cifuentes was able to deliver in keeping QPR up in the SkyBet Championship, Mark Davis (co-founder of Hoops Down Under) has pieced together a GREAT ESCAPE 2023-24 Tribute to Marti and the team.


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