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Pressure all on Leeds says QPR’s Alex Smithies

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 March 2017

Alex Smithies says QPR are playing free of any pressures. Picture: JOHN WALTON/EMPICS SPORT

Alex Smithies says QPR are playing free of any pressures. Picture: JOHN WALTON/EMPICS SPORT

EMPICS Sport

QPR will head to Leeds United on Saturday on the crest of a wave – and Alex Smithies says the pressure will all be on the Yorkshiremen.

Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory over Barnsley meant QPR stretched their recent run to four wins in five.

It has lifted the Hoops up to 14th, 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

And according to Smithies that means they can play with a certain degree of freedom, starting with the trip to a play-off chasing Leeds.

The goalkeeper said: “There’s no pressure on us now in terms of what we have to play for. It’s just about getting as many points as possible and pushing up towards the top end of the table. That would be a nice end to the season.

“We’re off the back of a good run so there’s no pressure going into the game. We can just play our way, work hard and hopefully spoil their day.

“Every game is big for us but we want to push on up the table so we just want to win every game.”

The Barnsley win saw Rangers deservedly pick up the three points but the victory did come with one grey cloud for the native of Huddersfield.

He said: “The scoreline doesn’t tell the true story. We were fairly dominant and I had a fairly quiet game. The ball was down their end more than ours and we could have stretched the lead further.

“We didn’t really give them a chance to show what they could do because we were so good with the ball.

“I was hoping for a clean sheet but it wasn’t to be. That’s very frustrating as a goalkeeper but the win is far more important and hopefully the clean sheets will come as the performances improve.

“It’s got to be getting closer. We’ve certainly put in some good performances recently and we’ve been resilient and just a bit unlucky.”

Manager Ian Holloway had made five changes from the side that beat Cardiff City on Saturday but Rangers showed no ill effects.

And that admits the boss is something that also comes with problems.

Holloway said: “It’s a good feeling and the team rose to what I asked them to do so I’m going to have a right headache about who I take on that bus to Leeds. Unfortunately I can’t take everybody but hopefully they’ll take it in the right vein and I’ve still got a couple close to coming back from injury.

“I’ve got to be strong enough to make my mind up about who is playing and hopefully have the discipline in and around the group to make sure they understand that.

“Hopefully we’re going to be a big team and a big club again and they’ll have to accept sitting there and doing what I tell them.”

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