Leon Balogun has every right to feel a little hard done by.

It was his former Ibrox coach Mick Beale who convinced the Nigeria international to put pen to paper with Queens Park Rangers last August after all. Just three months later, Beale was packing his bags and heading north of the border once more, leaving Balogun stuck in Loftus Road limbo.

To make matters, his debut season in West London is not exactly going how he’d have imagined it. Less of a dream return to English football, more an unwaking nightmare.

Rangers FC v Crvena Zvezda: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/Getty Images

Since Beale’s Rangers return, QPR have plummeted down the table at an alarming rate; A team who topped the Championship as recently as October now glancing nervously over their shoulders at the drop zone.

Just one win from their last 18 games is bad enough. 12 defeats, however, really slams home just how far QPR have fallen in such a short space of time.

Leon Balogun helpless in QPR’s struggle

A long-standing calf issue means Balogun did not play even a second of football during the ill-fated Neil Critchley era. Presuming he is fit to return before the end of this gruelling campaign, Balogun will be fighting for a place under QPR’s third manager of the season; the rather miserable start made by club legend Gareth Ainsworth proof that ‘new manager bounce’ doesn’t always apply.

There is still a seven point buffer between QPR and the bottom three. Unless Ainsworth can bring about a rather dramatic shift in fortunes, however, that gap will be eaten up pretty quickly over the coming weeks.

“Both boxes were the telling point. If you give chances away like we did, at this level you’re going to get punished,” Ainsworth told the Kilburn Times following Saturday’s 3-1 reverse at Rotherham United.

“We have created more chances than we had in a long time. There were a couple of naive things for a couple of their goals. That was the story of the game. The third goal really took the wind out of us.

“The energy around us has totally lifted. I just want to get that first result. I feel if we carry on like this, the wins are just around the corner.”

QPR supporters could be forgiven for not sharing in Ainsworth’s positivity. So many factors, from momentum to their ongoing injury issues, are pointing towards a fair few sleepless nights between now and June.

QPR were still flying relatively high before Balogun was consigned to a lengthy spell on the treatment table last November. Ainsworth will be praying that his return to full fitness does not come too late in the day.

Related Topics

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

More in Scottish Premiership