It`s down to you, lads. By Mikey Howard

04/04/2013 17:40

When I first became a Ranger, I wasn`t sure what I was letting myself in for. My dad was one (RIP) and I kinda followed on from there. But, I will be honest, I had a thing for Tottenham Hotspur. Anyway, come my first game at Loftus Road, I was honestly taken-aback by the regular supporters. They were so kind (to a child at that time) and made me feel so welcome. People whom I had never met before in my life seemed like "family". It was almost like I had known them forever. I got caught up in a world that was showing so much passion and love for a club that it was almost surreal. And the compactness of the stadium seemed to generate an atmosphere that was second-to-none. It was an experience that left me wanting more. Three home games later, I was addicted. Not because we were being successful on the pitch but, because Loftus Road seemed like a home from home, if you get my drift. I remember thinking one Saturday as I got off the tube at White City: "Come what may, this is where I belong and this is where I am happy !" 


Even now, years later, I get a kick out of crossing the road from White City station and doing the short walk down South Africa Road towards the ground. The smells of the famous fast food stall whiffing up one`s nostrils almost crying out: "I`m tastier than two weeks ago - buy me, buy me !" The statutory couple of beers in The Springbok - or if there`s time - a wander down to the Conningham Arms on Uxbridge Road beforehand. Then, of course, there is the statutory stop at the club shop to do a recce on what to purchase after the game.
But then, the most amazing sight - walking up the steps of Block C of SAR and looking out at the pitch. So many emotions go through your being. You kinda almost picture how you want things to play out. You see almost ghostly figures playing their hearts out for the badge. Of course, it doesn`t always work the way you envisage it but, the point is, just being part of it is all that matters. Even if you can`t make it to a game for whatever reason, you never forget the times that you did actually go. It sticks with you for time immemorial. If you didn`t care and believe in the cause you wouldn`t remember what happened last week let alone what happened 15/20years ago.
Fast Forward To Craven Cottage !
Well, what is there to say?! Two mistakes by our very own and we were in the mire. I really do feel for Chris Samba. Ok, he made two defensive errors that cost us dear in a must-win game. But, to be subjected to the abuse he received because he is black is well out of order ! I don`t know if the abuse was from an element of so-called QPR fans or not. It could have been from morons just jumping on the bandwagon. What I will say in his defence is, that at least he went public and admitted his mistakes and even showed some recompense by offering free tickets for the Wigan game. Would you ever see Barton doing that over the many misdemeanors he has made ? Er..NO ! So, I respect Chris for that. 
I admit we never turned up for the first half. To be honest, that has been the story of our season. Fulham are a team that without Berbatov would be at the best mediocre. They were all done in (physically) by the 60th minute. They lack pace up front and were there for the taking. But, when you`re 3 - 0 down away from home, it is hard to get back on level terms let alone win ! I`m not going to go into a blow-by-blow account of the game because Wig has already done a great article on it.
What I will say is, we are not done yet. There are still 21 points up for grabs. (The only issue is that even after Super Sunday, Wigan will still have a game in hand which is worrying.)
Will we survive ? It`s going to be hard now after the defeats to Villa and Fulham. Even if we lose to Wigan on Sunday, I will NOT concede defeat until the fat lady sings ! The moral of this whole piece is, it`s never over till it`s over. We have to believe as supporters and the players have to believe that it`s within them to get us out of the shit even at this late stage. We are QPR. We are strong and united and we will never give up ! We will fight and cheer till the mathematics say different. And even then, you will not destroy our solidarity ! One other thing in closing...if we go down, we will go down with dignity because that`s who we are. As long as we go down fighting with every breath we have I will have no complaints (apart from those aimed at Mark Hughes !)
To the players: Get out there and fight for the club. As supporters, it`s all we ask of you. Don`t give the doubters a chance to criticize. Fight like you have never fought. Kick some butt ! You do that and no Ranger fan in their right mind will give you bad words. It`s down to you, lads.
U R`SSSS !!!