Puts Rs in con­trol

Hoi­lett’s scorcher

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Brook

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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

HOI­LETT THE DOGS OUT: Ju­nior Hoi­lett cel­e­brates net­ting QPR’s opener

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