Queens Park Rangers: Ian Holloway compliments Northampton Town as QPR progress to EFL Cup second round
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Rs made it safely through first round tie, but boss applauds display from Cobblers
Manager Ian Holloway was full of praise for opponents Northampton Town following Queens Park Rangers’ triumph in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Yeni Nbgakoto’s goal towards the end of the first half was the game’s solitary goal as QPR progressed to the second round.
At times, though, it wasn’t the most eye-catching game, with the Rs put under plenty of pressure early on, while also being a touch sloppy in possession early in the second half.
The display from the Loftus Road club did not match the highs of Saturday’s brilliant win in the Championship at home to Reading, but for Holloway the important thing was that his side safely progressed.
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“Sometimes football can be the good, the bad and the ugly. Saturday was the good, this weren’t the bad, but it was a little bit ugly,” said Holloway.
“Northampton played very well, they closed us, they pressed us and they were on the front foot.
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“They knew what we might try to do. There were different personnel for us, but I have to give them massive credit.”
Holloway made nine changes for the clash from the win over Reading, with only Nedum Onuoha and Luke Freeman starting both matches.
There was a first appearance of the season for keeper Matt Ingram, while Steven Caulker featured for the west Londoners for the first time since October 2016.
By and large, the Rs team performed well despite the numerous alterations, and Holloways says he was pleased with the displays from his squad.
“All my squad players, I’m pleased with. I have to say that because it’s very difficult when you go out and the team that you play with played so well on Saturday, but you weren’t involved,” added the 54-year-old.
“Even if you were, you have to go out in a couple of days’ time and do it against a lower league team and the expectations are on you with a fraction of the crowd.
He continued: “It’s nice to see Ilias Chair; Darnell Furlong was excellent; I’m delighted for Caulker; delighted for Matt Ingram; delighted for Nedum to get through two games and look as good as he did.
“Jack Robinson, good God how far he’s come in the short space of time I’ve been here and he was still running at the end.
“Luke got through the game and I want to mention all of them.”