The former owner of Crystal Palace and talkSPORT pundit, Simon Jordan, has expressed his “open-mindedness” regarding the appointment of Marti Cifuentes as the new head coach of Queens Park Rangers (QPR). Cifuentes was chosen as the replacement for Gareth Ainsworth, who was dismissed following QPR’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City, marking their sixth consecutive loss.
Marti Cifuentes, previously in charge of Swedish side Hammarby since January 2022, led the team to a third-place finish in the Allsvenskan last season, earning them qualification for the Europa Conference League. Currently, his team is in the sixth position in the table with two games remaining in the current campaign. Cifuentes has also managed other clubs in the past, including Rubi, Sant Andreu, Hospitalet, Sandefjord, and AaB.
Cifuentes was selected over former QPR manager Neil Warnock, who had experience in guiding Huddersfield Town to Championship survival the previous season. The club also held discussions with ex-Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City boss Sabri Lamouchi. QPR is currently positioned 23rd in the Championship table, six points away from safety, and Cifuentes will make his managerial debut in a crucial match against fellow strugglers Rotherham United on Saturday.
Simon Jordan, who had employed Neil Warnock during his tenure as Palace owner, acknowledges the value of experience but supports QPR’s CEO Lee Hoos in choosing Cifuentes. Jordan believes that in a relegation battle, people tend to default to experienced individuals who can find a solution and understand the football landscape and logistics. He cites examples of managers like Daniel Farke at Norwich City, Vincent Kompany at Burnley, and Michael Carrick at Middlesbrough who lacked Championship experience but had other qualities.
Jordan also mentions Graham Potter’s success after coming from Swedish football, and he believes Cifuentes has a decent record, considering his third-place finish with Hammarby. He trusts that QPR’s chief executive, Lee Hoos, has made an informed decision, citing their previous appointment of someone without prior managerial credentials who performed well for a period of time.
Regarding the appointment of Marti Cifuentes, it is seen as a risky move by QPR, given his lack of Championship experience in a relegation battle. Some other clubs have made similar appointments with inexperienced managers who have succeeded, but it remains to be seen whether Cifuentes can achieve the same. His first game in charge against Rotherham will be crucial to their survival efforts.