QPR striker sings praises of Swans boss

QPR’S Tommy Smith is backing former boss Brendan Rodgers to be a big success with Swansea as Rangers prepare to defend their unbeaten record at the Liberty Stadium.

Smith played under Rodgers at Watford before the Ulsterman opted to take the manager’s job at Reading – a decision that backfired when he was sacked after six months with the Royals in relegation trouble.

But Rodgers returned to management with Swansea during the summer and, after an inconsistent start, has overseen a run of just one defeat in six games to lift the Welsh club to fourth in the Championship.

“From what I hear, he was very unfortunate at Reading and didn’t really get a chance to develop and move things the way he wanted to,” Smith told the Times.

“Often, if you don’t get results straight away, clubs start panicking a bit and I think that’s what happened with Brendan at Reading.

“He’s got a very different approach as a manager – quite a European approach to tactics and training, and it takes players time to get used to. At Watford it took time but, after three or four months, we started getting some great results.

“I’m sure it would have been the same at Reading – as soon as he left they started winning, which showed the solid foundations he’d put in place.

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“He’ll be doing the same at Swansea and it’s going to be tough for us there. Brendan will certainly have done his homework and they’ll be prepared for us.”

If Rangers can avoid defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45pm), they will equal a 63-year-old club record of 12 league games unbeaten at the start of the season.

Akos Buzsaky is set to miss out after limping off with a knee injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Norwich, with Alejandro Faurlin likely to take his place.

But Gavin Mahon could make a surprise return to the Rangers midfield after signing a short-term contract with the club.