Queens Park Rangers Marc Pugh midfielder says that the R’s must “dream big” – and take inspiration from last seasons play-off winners Aston Villa in their current top-six bid.
Prior to the break for COVID-19, Mark Warburton’s side beat sixth-placed Preston North End at Deepdale and although the West London outfit remain in the bottom-half of the Championship table, are now just six points adrift of the play-off places.
A damaging defeat at the beginning of February saw the Hoops slip just five places above the relegation-zone, but six matches without defeat – which includes three wins – has seen them climb up to 13th and back in the promotion picture.
Dean Smith’s Villa side found themselves in a similar position to QPR at this stage last season, but recorded an impressive ten consecutive victories and eventually finished 5th before they defeated both West Brom and Derby County in the play-offs and were promoted back to the Premier League.
Pugh admitted that Rangers need to just keep believing.
Pugh told QPR Podcast: “I think you talk about it every day. I’ve always had that mentality that you’ve got to dream as big as possible.
“I’ve played in the Premier League for six years with Bournemouth and it’s where everybody wants to be to test yourself against the best players in the world.
“It’s just incredible for the fans and incredible for the players.
“You saw Aston Villa last year – they were nowhere to be seen but went a run towards the end of the season, ended up in the play-offs and went up.
“You’ve just got to believe – believe as a squad, believe as a fanbase and who knows where that’ll take you. “If you get a run of games together then you can go flying up the league before you know it. Four or five wins and you’re in amongst it.”
The former AFC Bournemouth man added: “Momentum is a massive thing in the Championship. “The break came at a bad time but we can turn things on its head.
“We can have a break, we can keep on top of our fitness and make sure we’re stronger and fitter than the rest of them and turn that to our advantage.”
Despite the six-point gap between QPR in 13th and Preston in 6th, the fact that there are six teams ahead of them, Rangers’ task of squeezing in the play-offs still looks extremely difficult.
However, Warburton’s side, who’re on the longest unbeaten run of any of the chasing pack, have bags of momentum and with 27 points still up for grabs, anything is possible.