Upon hearing of Jay Bothroyd's inclusion at 2pm yesterday, I have to admit I fell into the fickle trap of complaining of seeing his name on the team-sheet. Three hours later, he of course was Rangers match-winner in what we all hoping is a season turning point win at St Mary's. So I will offer my apologies to Jay, just as much as I hope those who have already written off Rangers survival hopes will offer theirs, if that win leads to completing mission impossible.
Prior to kick-off Many fans had labelled yesterday's game with Southampton as 'must win', but must have been concerned to see not only Bothroyd in the starting eleven, but also no places for Adel Taarabt and Jamie Mackie, who were both dropped to the bench. In their place were returns for Junior Hoilett and Loic Remy, and it was a combination of the pair that opened the scoring on the South Coast.
Hoilett's defence splitting ball and Remy's quality finish the cutting edge that the R's have been severely lacking in recent weeks. Indeed Hoilett's all-round performance was highly encouraging and easily one of his best outings in hooped shirt since signing last summer.
QPR being QPR, won't ever do things the easy way though, and gifted Southampton an equaliser on the stroke of half time. A rare mistake from Julio Cesar, gave Gaston Ramirez an easy tap-in, and the challenge was one for Rangers to find a second goal, something they had only done on three occasions previously this season.
When the goal came, it came from a flash of Ji-Sung Park doggedness, something we've seldom seen in W12, and a finish from Bothroyd 19 minutes from time. Both he and Remy were on-hand to steer Park's cross into the net, as QPR finally realised the benefit of playing strikers who actually get themselves into the penalty box.
The home side piled on the pressure late on with Rob Green, who had replaced the injured Cesar, making a world class save from a Yoshida header. But Harry Redknapp's men held on to the win and it was greeted to a rousing roar at the final whistle from the brilliant travelling fans, along with a fist-pump from Redknapp that would have made any member of Jersey Shore proud.
What does mean to Rangers survival hopes? Well, it's a lifeline that's for sure. And the next few games present further opportunities for more of the same, if they can build on another enjoyable trip to St Mary's. Relying on Remy and Bobby Zamroa was Harry's masterplan for the season's run it, but in Bothroyd he made have found an alternative option. Either way Rangers are back amongst the goals and back amongst the wins. Let's pray it continues.