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QPR can thrive with three in defence, believes Grant Hall

PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:40 08 December 2016

QPR defender Grant Hall. (Picture: PA)

QPR defender Grant Hall. (Picture: PA)

EMPICS Sport

Grant Hall believes playing three at the back is the way forward for QPR.

Under former boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the Rs had a very defensive- minded approach, but under Ian Holloway’s tutelage the players have so far been given more licence to express themselves in training and in matches.

The new manager has opted to use a 3-5-2 formation and centre-half Hall, who has been an ever-present for the Rs again this term, says the squad must turn into a possession-based outfit again if the system is to work.

He told the Times: “We’ve worked on different things in training with the new gaffer. Playing three at the back is something we hadn’t done before under Jimmy, so that’s been refreshing. I’ve played in that system before, but for some of the lads it’s about getting used to it at the moment.

“I think under Jimmy everything was very structured and organised defensively, but under the new gaffer it’s going to be a lot more of an attacking side.

“I believe it can work. With the right players, and if you play the right way, it can work really well.

“You’ve got to be a possession-based team for it to work and that’s something we’ve struggled with doing quite a bit in the past, so we’re trying to amend that now. We haven’t been outplaying teams in the past, but that’s changing now. Training is a lot more possession-based and [is about] playing out from the back.

“I’m confident that with the flair and skill we have in the squad it can work well for us in the long term.

“After all, our fans don’t want to just see us winning, they want to see a performance as well. We know it won’t be pretty all the time but it’s important they get to see some skill and attacking flair from us, and hopefully they will in this system.”

One player in particular who could benefit from playing in the new formation is forgotten man Sandro.

The Brazilian was handed his first league start of the season in last week’s 2-1 defeat at home to Wolves, and Hall believes supporters will soon start seeing the best of the 27-year-old.

He added: “He’s a fantastic player who is very experienced and has played at the highest level. He needs to get match fit, so he needs to play as many games as he can – but there’s no doubting his talent.

“He’s very good with the ball – he’s Brazilian after all, they can play a bit! –and he’ll be a very good addition to the squad if he gets himself fully fit.”

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