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Five Things We Learned: QPR 4 - 3 Bolton Wanderers

It's over now

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

I liked the intimacy of Loftus Road, despite it being a dilapidated ground. The positives, after some serious soul searching, don't end there as we look at the 5 things we learned from that mess of a game, one of them being positive.

1) Gary Madine is Our Sentinel

Throughout the 1900s, canaries were used as an early warning system for miners who were vulnerable to inhaling carbon monoxide. When everything was safe, the canary would be lively.

When the bird was in danger, it would quickly fall ill. If you forgive the hyperbole of comparing the atmosphere of the team to toxic gas, then I believe this is an apt analogy for Gary Madine. When QPR were flailing at the beginning and Bolton were promising, Madine looked like a different player. He even got a goal to show for it after getting on the end of a Liam Feeney cross.

Then, when QPR fought back and Bolton found themselves on the back foot, he was visibly frustrated by the lack of balls in his direction and the balls he headed down rarely met their mark. He was still, in my opinion, the man of the match, but it is clear that he has to have confidence and a fluid team around him to play his best.

It does make you wonder whether he is the kind of player that would respond well to a relegation scrap, if we find ourselves in that position in March.

2) Darren Pratley Isn't ‘Back' Back

He played poorly, despite setting up Feeney's goal.

It was a shame considering how long we've waited for our skipper's return. He fizzled out and seemed to disappear after 30 minutes and was subbed off in the second half. Another was Max Clayton who, after a strong performance against Brighton, was played in the centre and showed moments of promise but struggled all together. He played the entire 90.

3) Our New Look Defence Looked Like the Old One

With 5 new signings and a great start, the honeymoon may be coming to an end for our back line.

Conceding 4 to a team that doesn't have a recognised striker is staggering and 10 in the last 3 games is a damning sight. They seem to show flashes of brilliance and then throw it away with errors; remind you of anything?

Every time I move to comment on Prince's performance, I remember his Brighton block so I'll leave him alone for a bit. If anyone should be dropped it should be Dorian Dervite for Derik Osede, as it would shake things up and help with our distribution.

4) Neil Lennon is a Lucky Man

Before you begin to froth at the mouth with #LennonOut, he was lucky not to be sent off. He spent more time out of his technical area than in it and walked onto the pitch on two separate occasions.

The fourth official, who has the weirdest job in football, was screamed at for the entire 90 minutes. I'd like to think the officials play ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors' to decide who will be on the receiving end of a ginger tornado, but it's probably given to the human personification of Luke 6:29.

Takes something special for referees miss Big Sam, but if Lennon started beating Rob Greens head in I would have said ‘Finally, some organisation'.

Then again the referee was bizarrely inconsistent and if decisions had gone the other way the score could have easily ended up 4-2 to Bolton, although I haven't been able to replay the Neil Danns/Green incident. Feeney, who appeared to over-run the ball, was tripped.

5) Football is Still a Community

Even though we swear at each other and call each other names on twitter, football is still a community. The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) action weekend on away ticket prices attracted media attention, despite stewards preventing both Bolton and QPR from unfurling the banners in the ground.

We met some lovely people from QPR1st, a supporter's trust, before the game and clubs from across football took part.

This feeling was only amplified when a group of QPR fans who walked from QPR's training ground to Loftus Road to raise money for the QPR Tiger Cubs, a football club for players with Down syndrome, were met with a standing ovation.

At least there's something to be warm about