Although he played for their west London rivals Chelsea, the number of QPR fans upset by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s appointment as their club’s new manager can probably be counted on one hand.
The Dutchman, who enjoyed a glittering playing career around Europe’s top leagues, may be relatively green in the management game, but Hasselbaink has already carved himself a reputation as one of the brightest prospects around thanks to his successful spell at Burton Albion, the club he leaves top of League One.
Despite taking over at the Pirelli Stadium in November of last year, he still went on to deliver the League Two title in his shortened debut season, earning the Brewers a crack at England’s third tier for the first time in their history.
Sat in mid-table heading into December, QPR fans will be hoping there is still time for the Dutch tactician to wave his magic wand and seal an immediate return to the top flight, rated at 16/1 by Ladbrokes currently.
Here are five things the Dutchman brings to the table that should greatly enhance those chances.
A winning mentality
Although his major honours as a player were refined to a Portuguese Cup with Boavista, the Charity Shield and two Premier League Golden Boot accolades, he played for plenty of top sides where winning was the norm and cup finals were frequent.
His first step into English management saw him lift that elusive league title from his playing days at the first attempt, when winning 19 and only losing three of 30 games at the Brewers.
Rather than be found out after a step up in class this term, Jimmy-Floyd now leaves Burton clear by two points, having won two more games than any other club in League One (13).
This became apparent in his playing days. The livewire striker was renowned for a hot-headed streak but also for his sense of humour and beaming smile.
Latterly it’s his jovial side which is more widely seen, although he knows when to be serious and commands respect.
A humble attitude
Having opted to join the management game at the lowest rung of professional English football it’s abundantly clear that Hasselbaink has both feet glued on Terra Firma.
Despite a big-time past, the Dutchman’s ethic of starting at the bottom and working up are anything but big time. Too many former players get this very wrong.
Adoration of his players
When you are winning it is much easier to be admired by people at any football club, but it is no guarantee you will be loved by all – you only have to look at the amount of memoirs taking shots at Sir Alex Ferguson.
From his time at Burton at least, it seems Hasselbaink commanded huge respect and was universally adored. This will be music to the ears of Rangers fan as the Loftus Road dressing room hasn’t been famed for its unity in the Tony Fernandes era.
Insight for his strikers
As well as gaining a highly-promising coach, any striker on the books must be excited to work with a man who once scored a top-flight hat-trick in 13 minutes!
Wherever he went Hasselbaink was among the most feared centre-forwards of his day, finishing up with a senior goals record just shy of one every two games.
Perhaps after working with him, Charlie Austin will decide staying put is the right move in January.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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