Neil Critchley named new QPR manager after heavy defeat by Burnley

Queens Park Rangers have appointed Neil Critchley as their new head coach. The former Blackpool manager has signed a three-and-a-half year deal after replacing Michael Beale, who joined Scottish Premiership side Rangers last month.

Critchley had previously succeeded Beale as assistant manager at Aston Villa in the summer, after Beale moved to Loftus Road, but was out of work following the sacking of Steven Gerrard in October.

“I am very excited and can’t wait to get started,” Critchley said, having been appointed following QPR’s 3-0 home defeat to Burnley on Sunday which left them ninth in the Sky Bet Championship.

“I already know some of the players from working with them previously and I am aware of a number of them, having followed their careers from afar. There have been some good foundations laid here and now it is my job to work as hard as I can to build on that. We want to move the club forward and ensure we are competing at the top end of the Championship table.”

Earlier, the Burnley manager, Vincent Kompany had described the 3-0 win at QPR as a “new start” after his side resumed their season by re-establishing a three-point lead at the top of the Championship.

Returning to action after the World Cup break, the Clarets responded strongly after Sheffield United had moved level on points with them on Saturday. Goals from Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ian Maatsen and Nathan Tella gave the visitors a resounding win at Loftus Road.

“It’s never perfect, but that was close to it,” Kompany said. “I judge a team on effort first and I think everyone could witness the energy that this team has. We’ve seen so many good things in that game and scored three really good goals.

“It feels like a new start for me. [It was] a starting point, the league is level in our mind and we have to get better. I do want to treat it that way – like it’s a restart. We can get better and that has to be the message.”

Burnley were by far the better side, but Kompany admitted they might have been fortunate not to concede a penalty in the opening minute, when George Thomas went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.

Kompany said: “Honestly, I don’t know. From where I was, I can see how you can nick a penalty in a situation like that. It evens out. We had a game where the ball went out for a goal kick, a corner was given and we conceded. These kind of things can happen and they do level each other out eventually.”

Paul Hall, in charge as QPR interim manager, felt the game might have turned out very differently had the early penalty been awarded.

“For me that’s a penalty. We can’t blame the ref, but it does affect us and does change the game slightly,” Hall said. “I think if we get a penalty it gets our tails up and we believe in ourselves a little bit more.

“We can’t blame the ref, but I’m not happy with that decision, of course. I’ve been in that situation many times and very rarely have I not been given a penalty or not seen a penalty being given in situations like that.”