Holloway delighted by spirited Rangers’ depth

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway (pic Steven Paston/PA)

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway (pic Steven Paston/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers make the long trip to Middlesbrough this weekend and boss Ian Holloway feels their midweek comeback against Millwall underlined the fighting spirit and strength in his squad.

Matt Smith celebrates scoring for Queens Park Rangers (pic: Steve Paston/PA)

Matt Smith celebrates scoring for Queens Park Rangers (pic: Steve Paston/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Trailing 2-0 to 10-man Millwall going into the closing stages, Rs saw Massimo Luongo halve the deficit before Matt Smith and fellow substitute Kazenga LuaLua combined for a late equaliser after a sustained spell of pressure.

And Holloway felt it was a clear sign of the belief his players possess, saying: “Normally QPR would fold, but I’m really pleased we stayed solid and understood where the spare man was. We didn’t just launch it.

“My bench is so strong these days that I can cause anybody problems, so if it’s not working then keep going and keep believing and I will make some changes.

“There’s some belief that we’ve got attacking options and if I use them we might get back in almost every game.

“The boys are actually disappointed that we didn’t take more of the opportunities we had. We felt we should have won.”

Rangers went into Tuesday’s derby on the back of a 2-1 home win over Ipswich, on the 100th anniversary of their first match at Loftus Road.

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But former Millwall boss Holloway was barracked by visiting Lions fans throughout Tuesday night’s game and said: “I kept them up, then they chose to sack me and then Neil was in charge when they went down.

“You got one of your own in charge. Maybe that’s what you wanted in the first place. But don’t forget I kept you up and tried my best and if that’s not good enough for you then I don’t really care.”

Conor McLaughlin fired Millwall into the lead, before striker Lee Gregory was red-carded for a two-footed challenge on Josh Scowen.

Jed Wallace doubled the lead early in the second half before Rangers rallied, but Lions boss Neil Harris was in no doubt that the dismissal of Gregory was a turning point in the Sky Bet Championship contest.

“I thought it was really harsh. We’ll certainly be appealing,” he said.

“In a London derby there were tackles flying in. It was a 50-50 ball and both players were diving in. I didn’t even know which way the referee was going to give a foul.

“For 40 minutes we bossed the game and could have been four or five up. The sending-off certainly changed the game.”