QPR 0-2 Preston : The four main talking points as Rs fall to dismal home defeat
PUBLISHED: 18:30 20 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:30 20 August 2016
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QPR fell to their second successive league defeat in the space of five days as Preston won a one-sided contest at Loftus Road on Saturday. Here the Times discusses the four main talking points from the game
Rumoured to be on his way out of the club - with former employers Wigan Athletic potential suitors - Perch started at right-back against Preston, replacing Nedum Onuoha who shifted across to central defence with Grant Hall suspended.
The 30-year-old went close to opening the scoring on inside 15 minutes when he tried to latch onto Yeni Ngbakoto’s searching free-kick but other than that, his display did little to capture the imagination of the Rangers’ fans - at all.
Preston looked continuously dangerous on the left and, on a number of occasions, were afforded the sort of time need to put the score beyond doubt; Daniel Johnson in particular. With Grant Hall set to return to the side after today’s suspension, Perch will return to the bench with his future set to be decided in the coming week, but it remains to be seen if Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will give him another chance.
QPR’s attacking threat
Having scored seven goals in their first three league games, QPR’s goal threat was disappointingly non-existent in the first half. Admittedly, four of said goals were from the penalty spot, but the numbers never lie and just one shot in the first half – and off target at that – is a disappointing statistic.
Ngbakoto’s corner 3 minutes into the second half went begging, and it took until 58 minutes to get the first shot on target when Seb Polter hit a tame effort that was never going to trouble Andreas Lindegaard. Substitute Conor Washington injected some much needed potency up front but seemed to fluff his lines when he played in by Tjaronn Chery ten minutes after his introduction.
Nasser El Khayati was one of the only players on the field with the tenacity to actually make his way into the box, but despite his obvious skill, the final product is lacking.
QPR were their own worst enemies today and sadly had no one to blame but themselves. Facing a Preston side who had played three, lost three prior to the fixture, it took 21 minutes for the Rs to fall behind. Alex Smithies weak punch from Paul Gallagher’s shot fell into the path of Jermaine Beckford to poke home.
Smithies’ distribution continued to falter, with unwarranted punches and wasted goal kicks and just seven minutes into the second half, the three points were firmly situated in Preston’s hands.
Tjaronn Chery gave the ball away cheaply on the left hand side to Daniel Johnson; he played in Beckford who crossed for Callum Robinson to fire past Smithies via a deflection off Nedum Onuoha.
One would have presumed that, after a flat attacking presence in the first half, Hasselbaink would have switched things up at half time to ensure defeat was avoided against the then division’s bottom side.
By the time Conor Washington was introduced ten minutes into the second half, the Lancashire side were already two goals to the good. But the Northern Irishman and fellow substitute El Khayati undoubtedly lifted the team despite being unable to alter a deflating defeat.
Playing with Polter as the lone frontman seemed to crowd the midfield and inhibit creativity, while with Washington playing alongside, or just behind him offered a greater chance of scoring.