Simple change is paying off for Conor Washington says QPR’s Ian Holloway

Queens Park Rangers' Conor Washington (right) celebrates a goal (pic Yui Mok/Empics)

Queens Park Rangers' Conor Washington (right) celebrates a goal (pic Yui Mok/Empics) - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Conor Washington’s upturn in fortunes is all down to one simple thing according to Ian Holloway – playing him in his natural position.

The Northern Ireland international’s fourth goal in six matches was enough to seal a 2-1 win for QPR at home to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night.

It made it back-to-back wins with Washington also on target in the 4-1 success at Birmingham City four days earlier.

And it is not just his goalscoring that has improved, after just two goals in 31 games under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Washington was instrumental in setting up strike partner Matt Smith’s opener against the Latics and Hoops boss Holloway believes the simple move of bringing Washington in from the left wing, where he often played under the Dutchman, has made all the difference.

He said: “He’s a centre-forward and he knows he can play with Matt Smith. When he’s in a two he’s fantastic.

“If you know what your job is, which is to go and score a goal instead of worrying about defending all the time, it makes a difference.

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“He can press a centre-half all day long, but he finds it difficult in that wider area.

“Conor’s a fantastic goalscorer and he’s won us the game with that goal.

“And the quality of the finish was what life is all about in the Championship. It was a fantastic goal – a great move.

“Kazenga [LuaLua] could have shot, but he didn’t. He flicked it into Conor, and that’s what Conor does. I’m delighted that he’s now scored a fair few.”

Rangers’ first-team coach Marc Bircham believes that a growing team spirit is partly behind the two wins and will be vital ahead of Saturday’s trip to Preston North End

Speaking to he said: “With any successful side, particularly in the Championship, you need to be fit, well organised and above all, you need a good team spirit where every player is prepared to work for his team-mates.

“The club have done brilliantly in the window to bring players in who want to be here, want to work hard and want to give their best when they play in the QPR shirt.

“We have done well in games when the onus is on the opposition to come at us, but not so well when the onus is more on us.

“We’ve got a points total in mind that we want to reach as quickly as possible. Once we do that, it’s all about putting the ground work in for next season.”