OLLIE: THAT XI APPEAR FOR
In-form Rovers advance in Cup
QPR manager Ian Holloway vowed never to pick the same 11 players again as his side fell to an FA Cup defeat to fellow Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers.
A goal in each half, the first an own goal and the second from Liam Feeney, put Rovers two goals ahead and despite Jake Bidwell’s penalty just after the hour mark, the R’s failed to mount a comeback.
And Holloway was livid after the match: “In training on Friday we looked really good. But I didn’t like that performance.
“I thought the first half was a whimper. I’m absolutely gutted.
“We’ve gone right back down the ladder. That team, who have never played together before, will never be picked again. Simple as.”
The visitors took the lead in the eighth minute when Bidwell played a diagonal lofted pass to right-back James Perch that was intercepted by Elliott Bennett, who duly drove in on goal.
He squared the ball to Sam Gallagher whose header was parried away by Matt Ingram, but the ball rebounded off the back of Rangers defender Joel Lynch and into the net.
A drab first-half – Lynch’s fierce 40-yard shot that went wide was the best QPR chance – gave way to a comparatively lively second.
Jamie Mackie tricked his way into the box after just 70 seconds of the restart but his shot was blocked.
On 58 minutes, Blackburn doubled their advantage. From a quick counter-attack, Gallagher surged forwards and after his shot was denied by Ingram, Feeney was waiting to tap home his first goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Olamide Shodipo was bundled over in the box by Hope Akpan to give Rangers a route back into the tie – with Bidwell confidently converting.
But the London club failed to kick on, Yeni Ngbakoto’s glancing header and sub Jordan Cousins’ miscued shot from eight yards the closest they came as Rovers’ outstanding defensive pairing of Charlie Mulgrew and Gordon Greer nullified Rangers’ attacks.
Holloway added: “We just played backwards and sideways because up front we didn’t have the right blend. “The people at the back had the ball too many times because the ones in midfield didn’t play it forward and the ones up front didn’t move to get it. “Everything I do is to play through lines and excite the crowd with front people’s movement. But the movement wasn’t there.” Victorious manager Owen Coyle was thrilled to be in the STAR MAN CHARLIE MULGREW