QPR look to blunt the Blades at Loftus Road

Queens Park Rangers' Idrissa Sylla celebrates scoring the winner against Sheffield United last seaso

Queens Park Rangers' Idrissa Sylla celebrates scoring the winner against Sheffield United last season (pic: Steven Paston/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Rs boss Steve McClaren looking for first win of tenure after opening-day defeat

Steve McClaren (pic John Walton/PA)

Steve McClaren (pic John Walton/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers boss Steve McClaren has called on his side to play with more freedom when they host Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.

The Rs began the new league season with a 1-0 defeat away to Preston North End last Saturday.

The west Londoners return home this weekend for McClaren’s first league game at Loftus Road as QPR boss.

Under Ian Holloway last season, the Rs’ last home game against the Blades saw them secure a 1-0 victory on Halloween thanks to an Idrissa Sylla goal.

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McClaren would love a similar result on Saturday to get his first points as QPR boss, but knows to do that, his team must improve in the final third.

After the defeat at Preston, McClaren told the club website: “We had a couple of chances and right at the end their keeper made a great save from Sylla.

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“That’s where you need a little bit of luck for the ball to go in and from there the belief will grow. I think we lacked that a little bit.

“We need to release the shackles and go and play like we know we can.”

A solid pre-season campaign had offered those associated with QPR reasons to be optimistic about their first season with McClaren at the helm.

The defeat at Preston last weekend will have dampened some of that positivity heading into the clash with United on Saturday.

McClaren acknowledges heads may have dropped after the opening-day loss, but is confident they will be up again in time to blunt the Blades.

“We were disappointed and the players were disappointed. We could have got something from the game but we didn’t do enough,” he added.

“We need to be more creative and play football like we did in pre-season. That will come.

“I am positive about this group. They have a fantastic attitude and we can play better football than we did at Preston.”

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