Bowen confident QPR will beat the Premier League drop

Former Norwich City skipper Mark Bowen remains confident Queens Park Rangers will come out on top of the five-team fight for Premier League survival.

The West Londoners languish 18th in the table and are in serious danger of an immediate return to the second tier.

While the Canaries and Swansea are in mid-table with 10 games to go, QPR, promoted with them as champions, must battle to stave off relegation with fellow strugglers Wolves, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton, who beat them 2-1 in controversial fashion at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Despite that, Bowen, assistant manager under Mark Hughes, insists there is a real belief within the club that they can keep their place in the top flight.

'It galvanises the dressing room,' he told the club's official website.

'We feel a little hard done by, and it's a little bit self-inflicted, but we want to put things right.

'There's a real determination now over the 10 games. We're in a 10-game fight with four other clubs.

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'As a team, we are creating a lot of chances. We've got two strikers who we feel, with the run-in, could be vital for us.

'We've got to continue to keep creating chances. We feel they're getting a good understanding. But the rest of the team have got to give them a chance as well.

'By keeping things tight and creating a platform, if they go on to score, we can pick up three points.'

While Bowen remains positive about the Hoops' survival chances, their run-in is one of the toughest in memory.

QPR have trips to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City ahead of them, while they also welcome Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham to Loftus Road before the season's end.

The run is compounded by their miserable league form - one win in 16 games - but Bowen insists the team do not fear anyone, including next opponents Liverpool.

'When you feel like you are playing well, it's like you've got no fear of playing the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal at home,' he said.

'We may be proved wrong, but at the moment we're just saying 'Bring them on'.

'If things are equal and we can defend a little bit better, I think we're a match for anybody.'

The only team enduring a run of form worse than QPR's are Wolves, who yesterday denied they were lining up Gary Megson to replace Terry Connor as manager.

Wolves acting skipper Stephen Ward admits the negative atmosphere in and around Molineux is understandable given the team's poor home form.

A section of supporters staged a demonstration after the recent 5-1 home reversal by West Brom which led to manager Mick McCarthy being sacked and being replaced by Connor until the end of the season.

There were similar scenes after the weekend setback against Blackburn when club owner Steve Morgan was involved in exchanges with fans and midfielder Jamie O'Hara was confronted by some supporters.

Defender Ward, filling in as captain for the axed Roger Johnson, said: 'The atmosphere is not easy. The lads said after the Blackburn game that it is not the best atmosphere to play in.

'Of course you can hear it, but we've not given the supporters much to cheer about this year.

'We've not given ourselves anything to shout about so it's going to be like that every time we come here.'

But Ward is adamant the players cannot use the negative vibes as an excuse for their performances as they prepare for Sunday's home game against leaders Manchester United.

He said: 'It doesn't help but we've got to be big enough and strong enough to get by that.

'We are professional footballers, it's our job and whether things are going right or wrong, we've got to be big enough and strong enough to take the bull by the horns and play our own game.''

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