QPR captain anxious to avoid FA Cup upset

Clint Hill, Queens Park Rangers

Clint Hill, Queens Park Rangers - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

QPR defender Clint Hill has enjoyed a few FA Cup upsets in his time – but he is determined to avoid another against MK Dons.

Hill was a member of the Tranmere Rovers side that reached the quarter-finals of the competition in 2001, claiming two Premier League victims in Everton and Southampton.

He also featured in Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace team when they put aside their struggle for Championship survival to knock Wolves out of the FA Cup three years ago.

And, having narrowly avoided being dumped out of the tournament by the Dons last season, Hill knows QPR cannot afford to underestimate their League One visitors in Saturday’s fourth round tie.

“Last year we got quite lucky to get a draw at their place – they played a nice style of football and it was a very tight game again when we won 1-0 [in the replay],” the 34-year-old recalled.

“MK Dons have got a good manager and a good work ethic and it’s going to be a tough game for us again. They’ve got a Premier League scalp to try and get, so they’ll want it big time.

“Hopefully we can stop them getting it. I’ve been lucky to play in some big games in the FA Cup and I know how MK Dons will be feeling, playing against a bigger team.

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“They’ll want to upset us, so we’ve got to be on our game and play better in terms of keeping the ball and creating opportunities. We’ll give them the respect they deserve, but we want to win.

“It’s the FA Cup and it’s a great opportunity to go further and see how far it takes us. If you win a game, that gives you confidence and the longer we can go unbeaten the higher confidence will be.”

Rangers maintained their undefeated record since the turn of the year with a 1-1 draw at West Ham on Saturday as Joe Cole’s second-half strike cancelled out a debut goal from Loic Remy.

Nevertheless, that was only the second goal conceded in five games by a QPR defence that is looking significantly better organised than was the case earlier in the season.

“We’ve realised now that we have got to be tight all over the park,” Hill added. “If you give teams of the calibre that we are playing time and space on the ball, they’re going to hurt you.

“It’s been a terrible season for us – for whatever reason we haven’t clicked as a unit, but over the last four to five weeks we have found something. We’re a bit harder to beat and we are picking up points.

“We’ve been poor away from home since we came into the Premier League, so not losing away games over the last few weeks is a massive step for us. Hopefully we can keep our performances going.”