Queens Park RangersQueens Park Rangers – teamtalk.com 24 Mar 09:46
Northern Ireland striker Conor Washington held “contempt” for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s vision for him at QPR and credits the Dutchman’s successor Ian Holloway for his renewed confidence.
The striker signed for QPR in January 2016, saying at the time that working with former Chelsea striker Hasselbaink was a “massive pull for me”.
Yet he returned only two goals in 31 appearances under Hasselbaink, who often deployed Washington on his own up front or on the wing.
Hasselbaink was replaced by Ian Holloway in November and both Washington and QPR have since found their form, with the 24-year-old netting four times in his past 10 appearances and the Hoops winning five or their past seven in the Championship.
Washington has therefore arrived on international duty with Northern Ireland this week with a spring in his step again, having admitted he was left with a post-Euro 2016 hangover working with Hasselbaink.
“Within the year I’ve gone from the highest point to the lowest point back to where I am now,” said Washington, who made his international debut exactly a year ago on Friday.
“It’s so important to have that confidence and it’s mad how quickly things can change. Things like that, it’s strange how much of an effect it had on me.
“It was a really tough time after the Euros to be honest. Going from playing and scoring and being the main man at Peterborough and coming to QPR and having a few disagreements with the manager, not really understanding how he wanted me to play, his style of play, it was really tough. It was an even bigger comedown coming off the summer.
“It was not so much disagreements as miscommunication, maybe, probably from both of our parts.
“I didn’t really understand the job he wanted me to do within the team and I’ve always found playing up top in my own in the system we were playing doesn’t really suit me particularly well. There was a lot of contempt on my part in that.”
All that is in the past now that Holloway has arrived, even if a younger QPR squad has left Washington playing with the seniors when training consists of older players versus younger players.
One of the first things Holloway told Washington, a former non-league player who only turned professional in October 2012, was that he would have signed him had he been in Hasselbaink’s shoes.
Holloway then had his staff put together a compilation of Washington’s goals for club and country to restore the confidence he displayed during goal-laden spells with Newport and Peterborough.
“It wasn’t that long… like 10 minutes of video, with the celebrations as well,” Washington said, ahead of Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Norway on Sunday.
“It was one of the first things he said to me – ‘Nothing’s changed, you’ve just lost that little bit of confidence’.
“I totally agreed with him. Little things like that have really helped me. He got the video guys to put together something and it’s nice to look back and see what you’ve done and achieved.
“It wasn’t so much watching those goals, it was what those goals meant, especially the ones against Slovenia and Belarus, they were really important in terms of the bigger picture and getting into the (Euros) squad.
“When I was on a good run at Peterborough, it meant I was going to get the move to QPR. It was really important and reminded me, ‘Okay, I am good enough to play at this level’.”
Rafael Benitez’s side were second best for long periods and have now scored only once in their last three matches, while Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak made several excellent saves.
Fulham missed the chance to climb into the play-off places as they lost 3-1 at home to Wolves.
Ivan Cavaleiro gave Wolves a half-time lead and Andreas Weimann put them 2-0 ahead early in the second period.
Substitute Denis Odoi pulled one back for Fulham soon after, but Dave Edwards restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage.
Managerless Norwich halted their six-game winless run with a 2-0 home victory against Barnsley.
Jacob Murphy edged Norwich ahead just before the break and Angus MacDonald’s second-half own goal sealed Barnsley’s fate.
Aston Villa registered their fifth win in six league games with a 2-0 victory at struggling Wigan thanks to second-half goals from James Chester and substitute Scott Hogan.
Cardiff secured their first win in five with a 3-1 home victory over Ipswich, who had drawn their previous six.
Luke Chambers headed Ipswich into the lead, but Kenneth Zohore equalised before the break and notched his second soon after the restart before Joe Bennett added Cardiff’s third.
Brentford hit back from 3-1 down to win 5-3 at Burton, whose survival hopes were dealt a blow.
Marvin Sordell’s first-half double cancelled out Sergi Canos’ early opener for Brentford and Cauley Woodrow’s free-kick put Burton 3-1 up at the interval.
But Lasse Vibe struck twice after the break, either side of Canos’ second and Ramallo Jota added a late fifth for the Bees.
QPR condemned rock-bottom Rotherham to a seventh straight defeat with a 5-1 win at Loftus Road.
Matt Smith’s early goal was cancelled out by Rotherham’s Joe Newell, but Luke Freeman, Yeni Ngbakoto’s 49th-minute penalty – for Aymen Belaid’s foul on Smith – Massimo Luongo’s header and Nedum Onuoha’s late effort ensured another miserable afternoon for the visitors.
In a lunchtime kick-off at the City Ground, Daniel Pinillos’ stoppage-time header clinched Nottingham Forest a 2-2 draw against East Midlands rivals Derby.
Pinillos struck in the fourth minute of time added on to ensure both Forest boss Mark Warburton and Derby counterpart Gary Rowett, both appointed by their respective clubs on Tuesday, took a point from their first game in charge.
Derby pair Matej Vydra and David Nugent scored early in the second half to cancel out Zach Clough’s early opener for Forest before Pinillos’ last-gasp equaliser.
Aiden McGeady also scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Preston salvaged a 2-2 draw at local rivals Blackburn in another lunchtime kick-off.
Elliott Bennett and Craig Conway put Blackburn in front after Tom Barkhuizen had given Preston an early advantage and McGeady struck in the third minute of time added on.
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The Bluebirds led through Sol Bamba’s header before Ngbakoto equalised five minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.
And Ngbakoto’s corner with seven minutes remaining was met by Matt Smith, with the ball going in off Cardiff defender Jazz Richards.
Ngbakoto, whose father died shortly after his summer move from Metz, initially struggled for fitness and form but has looked much sharper in recent weeks.
Holloway said: “He’s been very patient. I’ve asked him to do some fitness work behind the scenes and he’s lost all sorts of poundage.
“He had a terrible bereavement just after he joined us and I felt that affected him, but he’s one of our family and he’s an absolute joy to work with.
“He’s made another statement there for me to pick him.”
The result meant a losing return for Cardiff’s former QPR manager Neil Warnock on the day Rangers marked the 50th anniversary of their 1967 League Cup triumph.
Holloway’s players wore a special edition all-white kit in honour of the one worn by the Wembley-winning team managed by the late Alec Stock, and several members of that side were presented to the crowd at half-time.
Holloway said: “Today, honouring the people who are famous to all us QPR people, to have them here and to come out and win, I’m delighted.
“We came from behind and sometimes you need your substitutes to do it.
“Yeni’s first goal was a great move and that gave us the impetus to go and get another one.
“It was a competitive game, but what else do you expect with two competitive people in the dugout who love QPR – and Neil now loves Cardiff.
“Neil will be fuming, but there wasn’t a lot between us and I did feel our substitutes coming off the bench made the difference for us, and I’m delighted for them.”
Warnock felt Cardiff’s defeat underlined why he believes they will miss out on a play-off place, despite an excellent recent run.
“I’ve been saying for months we’re not going to do it,” Warnock said.
“If we can’t win here when we dominate like that we’re not going to make the play-offs.
“We were 1-0 up and really should have scored two or three goals in the second half. To then give them a chance is very disappointing.
“But to get where we are has been fabulous. The lads have really done well for me.
“We’re looking to next season. I’m learning all the time – I saw one or two things today which is really helping me to decide what I’m going to do at the end of the season.
“I was pleased to see those things. It answered a few questions for me, although I was disappointed to lose.
“I’m looking all the time to see what we need to have a good go next year. I thought today just helped make my mind up on a few positions.”
The post Ian Holloway praises goalscorer Yeni Ngbakoto as QPR see off Cardiff appeared first on teamtalk.com.Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Queens Park Rangers | BBC 4 Mar 18:44
Yeni Ngbakoto makes one goal and scores another as QPR fight back to beat Cardiff and ruin Neil Warnock's Loftus Road return.Queens Park Rangers – teamtalk.com 25 Feb 21:12
Kazenga LuaLua’s cheeky backheel gave QPR the lead but Aiden McGeady cut in and curled an exquisite 20-yard equaliser on the stroke of half-time before Jordan Hugill notched the winner 20 minutes from time.
Freeman was then sent off for a second yellow card with 12 minutes remaining, with his second booking for a studs-up challenge on Tommy Spurr.
“I know Luke Freeman and I don’t think he put any weight on it,” said Holloway. “He’s tried to ride the tackle and not hurt anybody.
“Apparently the ref didn’t see it, the linesmen didn’t see it and the fourth official’s made an absolutely outrageous call and said it’s a second yellow.
“If it’s a stamping and it’s a deliberate stamping which he clearly says he saw, why isn’t that a direct red which we might be able to appeal?
“If someone stamps on you, I would definitely want them sent off – Luke didn’t do that. How can you make such a blatant error? I just don’t understand it.”
And Holloway believes the incident is the latest indication that replay technology is required in the Championship.
“Get the fourth official sat looking at a screen, for Christ’s sake, and get these decisions right,” fumed Holloway.
“If it’s good enough in the Premier League, then it’s surely good enough for this standard where we’re all trying to fight to get to the Premier League.”
Preston North End boss Simon Grayson praised McGeady’s ability to create something out of nothing.
“It was a disappointing goal to give away,” said Grayson of the QPR opener. “A long throw into the box, unfortunately it just went through Tommy Spurr’s legs and to be fair the lad (LuaLua) showed great awareness and good skill to put it in there.
“We ultimately responded well and when you’ve got somebody like McGeady who can do something out of nothing, it just shows the quality that the lad’s got.
“Hugill got into some good areas and unfortunately didn’t hit the back of the net but, for the winner, he reacted really well to lose his man and getting the first ball.
“He was first to react and the win gives us something to really build off.”
Grayson would have liked to see his team kill the game off once and for all after Freeman’s dismissal.
“Obviously the sending off happened and the game opened up,” he explained.
“Some of the play we had in that second half was exceptional but we lacked the ruthlessness to get the third and the fourth goal which would have made it a really comfortable afternoon.”
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