And with that, the light went out. At the start of the Christmas program it seemed improbable that Queens Park Rangers would survive; three games into it, it seems all but impossible. The gap from QPR to safety is eight points, which is only two more than QPR has managed in 20 games so far, while the brief gleam of hope that emerged after Harry Redknapp had replaced Mark Hughes as manager has now been all but extinguished. So bad are things now that the January transfer window may be less about trying to put together a last-gasp bid for survival than putting contingencies in place for a relegation that seems all but inevitable.

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