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  • By Yann Tear

Rangers announce Neil Critchley as new boss

QPR have opted to install former Blackpool boss Neil Critchley as head coach - succeeding Mick Beale following the former boss' defection to Glasgow Rangers.

The largely expected appointment was made official just hours after a 3-0 defeat to Burnley, which made it five defeats and a draw in six matches for a side currently looking a pale shadow of the one which started the campaign so brightly.

Crtichley has signed a three and a half year deal. He was most recently assistant head coach at Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard - which happens to have been a pathway which brought Beale to Loftus Road before him.

At Blackpool, the 44-year-old took the Tangerines up to the Championship and kept them up last year.

"I am very excited and can't wait to get started," he said. "It is a huge honour for me and I would like to thank the owners, Les Ferdinand and Lee Hoos for entrusting me to lead the club.

“I would also like to thank Paul Hall and his staff for the hard work they have put in during the interim period.

“Now I am looking forward to getting to work with the players and staff. 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.”

QPR chairman Amit Bhatia said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Neil to the club.

“Following the abrupt departure of Mick Beale it was important that we made a swift appointment, but also that we took the necessary steps to ensure it was the correct appointment. In announcing Neil today, we have achieved that.

“We have made a good start to the season and, in the same way Mick built on the strong work of his predecessor Mark Warburton, we wanted somebody who we felt certain could continue that progress for the club.

“We also wanted to ensure we appointed someone who shares the footballing philosophy of our club, and in Neil and his team we also feel confident we have achieved that.

“I’m excited for Neil to get started immediately and wish him the best of luck.”

Critchley will be joined at Loftus Road by Mike Garrity, who leaves his role as assistant head coach at Lincoln City, and Ian Brunskill, who was previously Critchley’s assistant head coach at Blackpool.

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