QPR 2-2 Swindon (4-2 pens): The five main talking points as the Rs scrape into EFL Cup second round
PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 08:48 12 August 2016
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Despite not being at the races QPR done enough to get the better of League One outfit Swindon Town and advance to the second round of the EFL Cup. Here the Times discusses the five main talking points from the game
1.Yeni Ngbakoto’s debut
The Frenchman looked dangerous throughout proceedings as he made his first appearance in blue and white hoops. Full-backs will not get a seconds rest with this lad in town.
In the first half he dispossessed the Swindon left-back before sending in a teasing cross, which was almost forced home by Conor Washington.
The former FC Metz man also produced a sublime touch to take down a sweeping, diagonal pass but his pullback was hacked away by a dogged Swindon defence.
Things only improved for the Frenchman in the second half as he netted himself a debut goal for Rangers after fantastic work from Nasser El Khayati on the left-hand side. If this display is anything to go by, QPR have bagged themselves a real player in Ngbakoto.
2. Jordan Cousins
Making his first start for the Hoops, Cousins was full of energy from the very first minute of proceedings. The former Charlton midfielder looked strong, quick and showed he can also pick a pass.
It was a well-rounded display from Cousins, who threatens to look like a real box-to-box dynamic talisman who has the ability to set QPR on the break all by himself. The stamina displayed by the Englishman was very impressive, and there’s no doubtinng he can become a key figure in the Rs’ midfield engine this season.
3. Conor Washington
The Northern Ireland forward is not scared to put his head where it hurts, and there was certainly enough effort and potential in Washington’s performance against the Robins to indicate there is plenty more to come from the former Peterborough man.
However, things didn’t really get going for the 24-year-old early on as he failed to beat his man on several occasions.
Debutant Ngbakoto did supply Washington with some very decent service. but on several occasions in the first half Washington looked slow to react.
A lack of match fitness may be the reason behind the indifferent display against the Robins, but things did improve for the striker and he got the rewards for a tireless display as Tjaronn Chery very intelligently laid the ball off to the former non-league striker, who fired home the Rs’ second goal of the game. There is certainly plenty more to come from Washington as his match fitness levels improve, but this latest goal - his second in as many appearances - will give him a huge boost.
4. Squad depth
Rs boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink utilised the depth that he suddenly has at his disposal in the Rangers squad. Ngbakoto made his debut and in some style, while Cousins impressed on his first full start for the Rs.
Elsewhere, Washington came in to replaced the hard working and very effective Sebastian Polter, netting his side’s second goal of the evening.l
Meanwhile, Olamide Shodipo - who impressed on his first-team debut against Leeds - retained his place while El Khayati also started. There is currently a very nice balance to the Rs squad, which with a few new faces could well compete for the play-offs.
5. Matt Ingram
Matt Ingram did his first-team chances no harm with a very solid display against the Robins, with No 1 Alex Smithies rested.
The former Wycombe youngster produced a string of fine saves to deny Swindon in the first half, including a particularly outstanding stop from a one-on-one situation. There was little Ingram could do about the Swindon equaliser, which was brilliantly taken by Jordan Stewart, but he was lucky to not concede another goal when he was caught out with the ball at this feet.
Howeverm Ingram would turn out to be the match winner as he saved two of Swindon’s penalties in the shoot-out which decided the contest.
There’s no doubt Rs boss Hasselbaink will be very pleased with the options he has at his disposal between the sticks.