McClaren’s QPR ‘need more players’
PUBLISHED: 21:09 04 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:09 04 August 2018
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The players brought in at QPR over the next few weeks could define the club’s season according to new boss Steve McClaren after a 1-0 defeat to Preston.
Rangers will be unable to make signings in January as part of a settlement with the EFL over Financial Fair Play rules and left Deepdale empty-handed after Alan Browne’s goal.
Josh Harrop delivered the crucial free-kick after 50 minutes which was met at the far post by Browne, whose header looped over goalkeeper Matt Ingram.
And while McClaren, in his first game in charge, felt his side deserved more from the contest he said it was useful in learning where he needs to add strength to his squad.
“We’ve made one signing, I think we need more,” he said. “We now have a better picture of what we need to do.
“There’s a few weeks to go before the end of the loan window and we are looking to strengthen the squad and how we do that will go a long way to saying how we are going to do this season.
“We didn’t do enough to win the game but we very nearly got a draw.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game against what I would call a wily old Championship team who have been doing jobs on people and know how to win games.
“This is a very young team, we just need to grow and get more experience. We must get stronger, get more belief and mentally stronger if we are going to get results away from home.
“They demonstrated their experience in that and we, at times, showed our naivety.”
McLaren’s side had the best chance of the opening half when Jake Bidwell found an unmarked Matt Smith but the striker could not direct his header on target from 10 yards.
And after Browne’s looping header, Harrop nearly extended the lead with a dipping drive after 68 minutes while a spectacular save from Declan Rudd denied Idrissa Sylla late on.
Boss Alex Neil was confident Preston would continue to surprise those who have dismissed his side’s chances of a good season before a ball was even kicked.
“I don’t pay any attention to how people think we will do,” he said.
“What people generally do is look at who has spent the most money and naturally we will be at the bottom end of that table.
“I don’t believe that cash is the be all and end all in the Championship. If you have a together group that works hard and has good quality in certain areas, you can still do really well in this league.
“I think we could have won more comfortably because I think for 70-75 minutes I thought we were excellent, moved the ball well and created good chances.
“Half-time we were talking about being more clinical in the final third. For all our good play, a scruffy goal like that wins us the game. I think that sums the Championship up.
“You can play as well as you like but you need the ball in the back of the net. I was a bit apprehensive towards the end that all our good play was going to go to waste.
“I hope we are busy in terms of bringing bodies in in general.”