McClaren knows leaders are needed in his squad if first term with QPR is to be a hit
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In an article from our ‘Kick-Off’ pullout, QPR boss Steve McClaren previews the Sky Bet Championship season
Steve McClaren may be the man tasked with marshalling Queens Park Rangers from the sidelines in the Sky Bet Championship this season, but he is looking for leaders to evolve on the pitch, writes Ned Keating.
The former England boss will be doing all he can in training and from the dugout to encourage his side to a successful season in his first term in charge at Loftus Road.
For that to happen, McClaren is aware he will need some members of his squad to step up and take added responsibility on the pitch during matches.
And though he is only a few weeks into his spell as QPR boss, the ex-Newcastle United manager says he is already seeing some players take charge on the pitch.
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“We need leaders this season. The key thing for me with Toni Leistner and ‘Lynchy’ (Joel Lynch) against Union Berlin was how vocal they were, which was important,” said the 57-year-old.
“That’s what we need because you can’t play a team game in silence. ‘Hally’ (Grant Hall) is another who is really vocal and we’ve seen that in training.”
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With McClaren having taken over from Ian Holloway in the summer, the former Derby County boss will have spent pre-season getting used to his new charges.
By and large, the pre-season campaign was a successful one as QPR lost just once in eight friendly matches.
And the 57-year-old says he was pleased with what he saw from his squad as they prepared for the start of the new league season, which began with a 1-0 loss at Preston on Saturday.
“I’m delighted with the players and I couldn’t criticise them after pre-season,” he added.
“I would have liked to, and I will do behind closed doors, but they did well.”
One man McClaren worked with in the early weeks of pre-season was Sean Goss, a player looking to restart his QPR career after spending the second half of last season on loan at Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
The former Manchester United trainee’s pre-season was cut short by a a back injury, though, and as yet there is no set date for the 22-year-old’s return.
And McClaren says he is gutted to be without Goss for the start of the season as he had been impressed with what he had seen in training.
“It’s a shame about ‘Gossy’ because I really liked him in the first two weeks of pre-season,” said the 57-year-old.