Les Ferdinand tipping old clubs Bolton Wanderers and QPR for success
FORMER Wanderers and QPR striker Les Ferdinand is tipping both to be challenging for promotion this season – and hopes they succeed in their quest.
The two ex-Premier League rivals meet in the Championship on Saturday at the Reebok in a big fixture more akin to the top-flight than second tier.
And Ferdinand admits it is not nice to see two clubs he left as established Premier League sides down in the level below.
He fancies both to be up amongst the challengers in May but acknowledges it will not be easy for either side in a division he labels ‘the most unpredictable’ in the country.
Ferdinand told The Bolton News: “It is strange for me to see both clubs in the Championship because when I left both they were in the Premier League.
“As with most former Premier League clubs, they will both be among the favourites to win promotion back.
“It will not be easy as Bolton found out last season because it is a tough league to get out of.
“I think it’s the most unpredictable league we have in our country – there are so many former Premier League clubs in there battling it out.
“But both teams have quality in their squads and good managers in Dougie Freedman and Harry Redknapp so I hope they can get back up.”
Ferdinand began his professional career with Rangers back in 1987 after joining from non-league football and spent eight years at Loftus Road carving out a career that would take him to Newcastle and Tottenham as well as international caps for England. His time at Bolton was brief, just six months in the first half of the 2004-05 campaign in the twlight of his career.
But he did enough to become a fans’ favourite by netting against rivals Manchester United at the Reebok – his solitary Premier League goal for the Whites.
Ferdinand has fond memories of both clubs but will be swaying towards Rangers slightly when watching Saturday’s meeting between his two former sides.
He added: “QPR was the start for me really.
“I came from non-league to join them and it was Gerry Francis who gave me the chance and put faith in me.
“It was a small club at the top level but we had some good times.
“We knew we were never going to win the league but had some good cup results.
“It is still a club I hold close to my heart, of course.
“But that’s not to say Bolton is not a place I remember with fondness as well.
“I may have only been there for six months but it was a time I enjoyed. Whatever happens this weekend, I want both to be promoted this season.”