Puts Rs in control
EARLIER season Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Dean Smith were going head-tohead at the top of League One, but the two men are looking at opposite ends of the Championship table with their new sides.
QPR secured the first back-toback wins of Hasselbaink’s reign, and it was a victory typical of sides who have recently secured promotion from the Championship, including the Rs’ 2013-14 side.
Rangers were solid defensively and clinical going forwards, and defeated a London rival for the first time since 2013 without any frills.
Former Burton boss Hasselbaink said: “From minute one we played really well. We were very organised out of possession. We didn’t really look in trouble. They had spells with the ball but we defended really well, and when we had the ball we kept it.
“We were a little bit under pressure when we scored, but we have got quality players, who, if you give a little bit of space to, can create.
“But there’s no shame in needing to suffer at times. Do you want to suffer? We are getting better at that.
“We want to suffer at times, dig in, work without the ball and wait for the right moment, and then hit them when the right moment is there. And after that you get a little bit more positivity.”
The early exchanges were lively and even, and Smith was right to suggest the opening goal came during his side’s best period of play.
It was a majestic goal, as Junior Hoilett strutted forwards and, before the full-back had time to
this advance onto him, curled his strike into the top corner. Fractionally lower or to the left and David Button would have saved. Located where it was though, and the fully-stretched keeper had no chance.
However, Smith’s suggestion that the second goal changed the game ignored his side’s deficiencies from the opening goal onwards. Minutes later, Ryan Woods’ low shot was palmed onto the post, but thereafter Brentford were listless as they slumped to a tenth defeat in 13 games.
More accurate was Hasselbaink’s assessment that following the opening goal was when QPR really established their control. The Dutchman added:“You can do two things when you score. You can go ‘we have got a goal and that’s it’. Or, ‘we’ve got a goal and we are going try and get them out of their shell even more and hit them again’. And we did that very professionally.”
Having affirmed their authority, QPR were gifted a second. Woods ceded possession to Tjaronn Chery, and then, after Chery supplied Sebastian Polter, Button’s feeble grasp allowed the German’s low shot through.
A third quickly followed as Brentford again ceded possession cheaply. This time Polter fed Alejandro Faurlín, whose neat through-ball engineered Chery’s fourth goal in as many home games.
Former Walsall manager Smith said: “The second half started really scrappy, the ball was in the air a lot, but we’re in a position at the moment where confidence is a little bit low and that second goal was the turning point.
“At 1-0 we had every chance of getting back into it. We lost our discipline and confidence and I thought the game hinged on that.
“You’re always aware of where you are in the league. Rotherham have had a fantastic run – a few games ago they were 14 points behind us. But for us it’s about concentrating on ourselves and winning the next game.”
HOILETT THE DOGS OUT: Junior Hoilett celebrates netting QPR’s opener