Ferdinand: Top-flight return is not priority

Ross McLean
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Chris Ramsey has three wins from his 14 games this term
QUEENS Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand has told Chris Ramsey to prioritise re-establishing club traditions over an immediate return to the Premier League after yesterday being handed the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

Ramsey has signed a three-year contract having been in temporary charge since February after Harry Redknapp resigned, citing imminent knee replacement surgery, with the Hoops firmly in the relegation mire.

The 53-year-old has been unable to orchestrate a sustained survival bid and has won just three of his 14 matches, with QPR bottom of the league on goal difference ahead of their final game of the season at Leicester on Saturday.

“Rebuilding the club is our first target. If we can make an immediate return to the Premier League, then great, but we have to focus on re-establishing the traditions of QPR. That will take time,” said Ferdinand.

“Chris’ coaching methods and techniques are second to none and with an opportunity to work with his own squad going forward, he is the ideal candidate for the role in terms of our new philosophy of nurturing young talent and promoting from within.”

Despite his inauspicious record in the Loftus Road hotseat, Rangers have charged Ramsey with navigating what could be a turbulent close season. The club is threatened with a £58m fine and expulsion to English football’s fifth tier for breaking financial fair play regulations during their 2013/14 promotion year.

Chairman Tony Fernandes said: “He lives and breathes management and coaching and I am sure he will flourish in this role, as we look to bounce back from this season’s disappointments.”

▪ Ramsey played professional football for Brighton and Hove Albion, Swindon Town and Southend United before stints in Malta and the United States
▪ His coaching career is dominated by a decade spent at Tottenham’s academy between 2004-2014. Ramsey formerly managed the England Under-20 side as well as Charleston Battery in America
▪ QPR took 11 points from 14 games under Ramsey’s stewardship. Ex-QPR boss Harry Redknapp, who resigned in February, had taken 19 points from 23 fixtures