QPR boss McClaren hails new boys
PUBLISHED: 19:35 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:35 25 August 2018
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Steve McClaren hailed the impact of Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells after the on-loan strikers helped QPR claim their first points of the season.
Rangers, severely hampered by Financial Fair Play restrictions and beaten in all four of McClaren’s previous Sky Bet Championship games in charge, defeated Wigan 1-0 at Loftus Road courtesy of Hemed’s 35th-minute winner.
Jake Bidwell headed Luke Freeman’s left-wing corner back towards goal and Joel Lynch nudged Wigan defender Cheyenne Dunkley out of the way, enabling Hemed to hook the ball home.
Hemed and Wells were brought in from Brighton and Burnley respectively in the wake of a 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol City in midweek, which followed a 7-1 hammering at West Brom last weekend.
The pair both made lively debuts and McClaren said: “It made a huge difference. We had no money to buy and have been praying for the (transfer) window to end and the loan market to open, because that’s all we can take.
“This week has been tough, but once they came in on Thursday you could see the belief in the players grow that we are moving forward and making signings.
“The fight was incredible; the tackles, the blocks the headers. You have to do that in the Championship to get a result.
“Keeping the clean sheet is the first thing and now we also know we have people who can score goals.”
McClaren also praised director of football Les Ferdinand and the club’s owners Ruben Gnanalingam and Tony Fernandes for getting the loan deals done.
He said: “We’ve had to show patience but Les Ferdinand and the two owners Ruben and Tony Fernandes have worked on Hemed and Nahki for four or five weeks, knocking on the door and making sure they come to this club.
“So they deserve a lot of credit for that and when they’ve been criticised, it’s not been right.”
Wigan manager Paul Cook was furious with referee Steve Martin’s decision to allow QPR’s goal to stand after what looked like a foul on Dunkley by Lynch.
“I pride myself on not giving referees criticism but, when you watch that decision back, I can’t see how he gets it wrong,” said Cook.
“We’ve got to manage that because we were in the ascendancy in the game and the goal’s put us on the back foot. Great credit to QPR.
“But referees (are) getting key moments wrong - if you get them right then the game just flows to a 0-0 draw and we get on the bus happy.
“Other people can decide if he gets that decision right. We were getting informed on the sidelines that the other officials told him it was a foul.
“We’ve watched it back and if he thinks that’s not a foul then we’ve all got issues.
“Goals change the whole dynamics of a game and that game was changed by that decision, and we’re very disappointed with it.
“I’ve got no problems with our performance. We’re as honest as the day.
“Would a draw have been a fair result? Maybe. But we haven’t got it.”