QPR look to tighten up ahead of Wigan fixture

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 August 2018

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren (pic: John Walton/PA)

Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren (pic: John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Rs have shipped 13 goals in just four league games this season

Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman clears under pressure from Bristol City's Jack Hunt (pic: John Walton/PA)Queens Park Rangers' Luke Freeman clears under pressure from Bristol City's Jack Hunt (pic: John Walton/PA)

Queens Park Rangers will hope to tighten up defensively for the visit of Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday after a horror week at the back.

The Rs lost 3-0 at home to Bristol City on Tuesday night, which followed a 7-1 hammering at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

That took the Loftus Road club’s gaol difference to -11 after only four games of the season.

The west Londoners have by far the worst defensive record in the division, which has heaped the pressure on QPR boss Steve McClaren.

The 57-year-old acknowledges his side have been poor defensively and is desperate to see an improvement in the coming weeks.

“It’s not good enough defensively, and we’re getting punished,” said McClaren after Tuesday’s loss.

“Football is all about not what’s in the middle, but what happens in both boxes.

“I couldn’t fault the players’ attitudes in that first half (against Bristol City).

“I asked for a reaction after Saturday and it was a good first half again, but a very poor collapse in the second half.

“They reacted very well and I thought we were the better team and should have scored.

“The first goal is important, it gives you confidence, but the first shot they had, they scored.

“The second one is just after half-time and then we’re chasing the game again.”

Despite the season being just four games old, QPR look to be heading for a relegation battle this season.

During the defeat to the Robins, McClaren was taunted by both sets of supporters about being sacked imminently.

The 57-year-old has also had to contend with a reduced budget with the Rs, partially due to the club’s fine for breaching Financial Fair Play rules in the 2013-14 season.

All in all, it seems the odds are stacked firmly against McClaren, but the former England boss insists he has been in tougher situations, even if it does not seem like that at the moment.

“Believe you me I’ve had tougher challenges, but at the present moment it feels like the toughest,” he added.

“It’s not nice, but as I say my main concern is the team, and it’s do I have the support of the board in terms of improving the team? And yes we have.”

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