Marti Cifuentes: QPR boss inspired by NBA, handball and hockey
Queens Park Rangers manager Marti Cifuentes says he draws on basketball, handball and field hockey to help him improve as a football manager.
The former Hammarby boss has taken five points from his first four games.
“I really like the NBA, there are fantastic coaches and players in that league. I like to listen to people from everywhere,” Cifuentes said.
Spaniard Cifuentes spent two years with Swedish top-flight side Hammarby, who he led in the Europa Conference League, and has also coached in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
He told BBC Radio London: “I’m an open-minded person.
“I try to read books and listen to people from every area – from business and different industries – but especially from sport because the core of football is not very different when it comes to other sports.
“I learn a lot from handball – as a game it has a lot of similarities to football in terms of how to attack very low, compact defence.
“I learn a lot from grass hockey, I have some good friends – the national team coach in Spain and another who coaches in the Bundesliga.
“We speak often – almost every week because there are similarities in that game as well. So I try to learn from everywhere and it’s always very inspirational to listen to other people.”
‘The game will be closer to Rotherham than Norwich’
Cifuentes won his first match as QPR boss on Tuesday as Rangers beat Stoke City 4-2. That came on the back of what he described as Rangers’ most complete performance in his only defeat so far at mid-table Norwich City.
Play-off hopefuls Preston North End will hope to bounce back from a 4-0 defeat at Middlesbrough when they entertain QPR on Friday and Cifuentes is expecting a backlash.
“We know they are an opponent that will play rough and will play in a direct style,” said Cifuentes, whose side head for Deepdale third from bottom of the table, six points from safety.
“It’s an opponent that will not be happy after losing 4-0 so we, 100%, expect a reaction and we need to do a lot of good things, but we know they will play direct and build a lot from the second ball.
“They have skills when it comes to counter attack as well with players that can run into space.
“We need to be aware that the game will be closer to Rotherham (where QPR drew 1-1) than Norwich.
“We spoke about the momentum you can get in this league when you get three or four wins in a row.