QPR 2 Bristol City 1
By Ben Kosky AKOS Buzsaky defended manager Paul Hart s cautious tactics after QPR were booed off the field despite their Boxing Day win over Bristol City. Rangers fans reacted furiously after Hart replaced Buzsaky and Jay Simpson with two defenders as the
By Ben Kosky
AKOS Buzsaky defended manager Paul Hart's cautious tactics after QPR were booed off the field despite their Boxing Day win over Bristol City.
Rangers fans reacted furiously after Hart replaced Buzsaky and Jay Simpson with two defenders as the home side clung on frantically to clinch a thoroughly undeserved three points.
It ranked as the Rs' worst winning performance since Stewart Houston's team fluked a 2-1 win at Reading 12 years ago, with disheartened supporters chanting 'We're supposed to be at home' as their side stumbled to victory.
But Buzsaky insisted: "The manager wanted to get the win - everyone would do the same because there's no point risking the 2-1 lead by putting another striker on. Maybe you win 3-1 but you're more likely to concede another goal.
"We have a strong squad and everyone expects us to always play brilliant. But if you look at the last four games we didn't win and I don't care how we win - we had to win.
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"Of course fans sometimes don't like it, but we have to accept that football is about getting points and getting into a play-off position, especially in the Championship."
The Hungarian playmaker, who returned to the side in his preferred central role after recovering from a knee injury, was one of three changes from Hart's first game in charge.
But neither Buzsaky nor any of his team-mates made much impact as Rangers were overrun in the opening half-hour by a City side that stroked the ball around with authority and confidence.
Radek Cerny kept out efforts from Gavin Williams and Cole Skuse, while Fitz Hall came to the rescue with a challenge on Alvaro Saborio after Ben Watson's horrendous pass had gifted the Costa Rican a clear run at goal.
Astonishingly, Rangers took the lead with their first attempt at goal as Fitz Hall's cross bounced off Gavin Williams and fell kindly for Jay Simpson to steer past Robins goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
And they doubled their advantage eight minutes later when Buzsaky found Mikele Leigertwood, who strode into space and slammed one of his trademark 25-yarders into the bottom corner.
City were back in contention 12 minutes into the second period courtesy of an outstanding individual strike from Nicky Maynard, who controlled Williams' pass, flicked the ball up while turning and coolly walloped it past Cerny.
At the other end, substitute Patrick Agyemang turned Wayne Routledge's cross wide, but the visitors should have levelled when Hall made a hash of a clearance and David Clarkson screwed the chance into the side netting.
Rangers survived a penalty appeal for Kaspars Gorkss' challenge on Maynard and the tension only increased when Hart sent on Matthew Connolly and Gary Borrowdale to play in midfield for the final 10 minutes.
Jeers greeted what was probably the most negative QPR line-up since Ray Harford fielded a 6-3-1 formation to stave off relegation at Maine Road in 1998, but Hart declared: "I try not to let things like that affect me.
"Managing people's expectations is as important as managing the team. There was an edginess about our play and we didn't start well, but we dug in and saw them off."
Unfortunately, it looks as though he might have seen off a number of Rangers fans as well...