McClaren hails Freeman as late header secures a point for QPR on Rotherham trip
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
Midfielder headed home crucial goal in stoppage time against Millers
Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren hailed Luke Freeman for leading his side to a 2-2 draw at Rotherham United in the Sky Bet Championship.
Freeman was the visitors’ dangerman throughout the second half as they left it late to salvage a point at the New York Stadium.
Rotherham came out of a frantic opening 15 minutes 2-1 ahead thanks to Will Vaulks’s low strike and Clark Robertson’s first goal for the club.
The Millers’ goals came either side of Nahki Wells’ opportunistic strike from close-range following slack defending.
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Freeman, who signed a new deal with the Londoners recently, nipped in with an injury-time diving header to draw the scores level again and drew praise from McClaren.
He said: “He can score goals, he can assist, but his enthusiasm is infectious. He is one of our most important players.
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“He has signed again and was not taking a backseat. He has come forward and got us a point.
“It was disappointing to concede those goals because normally we are not like that.
“I think we deserved more than a point, but credit to Rotherham. They’ve got a great record here and I thought it was a great, end-to-end game.
“We knew it was going to be difficult and it was but I am proud of the players and their performance. Even if they had lost I would have been proud of that performance.
“It would have been a travesty not to have come away from here without a point.
“The bench made a difference and that is what we need. It is not about the XI but the squad and we need to continue that.”
Paul Warne’s Rotherham are now seven unbeaten, but the manager knows they could be further up the table than 19th.
“We have played against a very good team and I think if we had got a third goal it would have been enough,” he said.
“Our keeper kept us in it. It’s just hard to take because we conceded so late on. It was a great header, but we should defend better than that.
“The lads have got to be pleased with themselves because they are taking on the in-form teams.
“If you would have asked me at 60 minutes if I would have taken a point then I possibly would have.
“We are hard to beat, but it would be nice if we were hard to beat and find wins easy.”