McClaren proud of QPR players after historic win
PUBLISHED: 18:20 22 December 2018
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Steve McClaren was full of praise for his Queens Park Rangers players after seeing them secure a historic 1-0 victory at Nottingham Forest - their first-ever win at the City Ground.
In 34 previous meetings at the stadium between the two sides, stretching back to 1934, QPR had suffered 20 defeats while collecting 14 draws.
But Toni Leistner helped them end that miserable run as he headed home just before half-time.
QPR goalkeeper Joe Lumley produced a stunning late save to tip a spectacular effort from Adlene Guedioura on to the bar as Rangers held on for another big win to follow on from their success against Middlesbrough last weekend.
“We all know the history. We know that this is a tough place to come and a very good Forest team, but I thought the players were magnificent,” said McClaren.
“It was an unbelievable result for us and I’m so proud of the players. It was a win against a very, very good team.
“All you ask for is for a solid performance, and for the players to work for each other and be competitive. We are seeing that. If you do that, you will win eight games out of 10 and probably draw one and lose one beyond that.
“In the last few weeks, against some good teams, we have defended so well. Joe Lumley made a great save that got us the points, but it was a great team effort which got us the points.”
McClaren, who had a short spell as Forest manager, believes QPR’s strength comes from their togetherness as a team.
“There was not one outstanding individual,” he said. “Everyone did their jobs.
“If you do your job you have a chance of winning. Aside from that save we did not look to be in too much danger.
“We are just going one game at a time. I don’t know exactly how far this team can go, but you don’t want to waste good results like this one. I think we deserved it.”
Forest boss Aitor Karanka, who had also seen his side beaten by Preston in their previous outing at home, questioned the attitude of his players following a poor performance that was poles apart from their 0-0 draw at Derby on Monday.
“We need to forget this as soon as possible but also, at the same time, to know that if we continue in this way it will be impossible to win games,” said Karanka.
“We had intensity at Derby and it’s difficult to understand. The players should be committed, they should be supporting each other, but today we didn’t see that.
“Imagine if it’s difficult to beat teams here when we play at our best - how difficult will it be when we are 20 or even 50 per cent off our best?
“I hope the players understand that. If we go in this way I do not like it at all. We looked like we had a mid-table team mentality. We need to win games, we need to work to win games from the first minute to the last.
“If we lose games like our last two home games, it will be tougher for us. We need to go home and think about this because if we continue like this it will be difficult.
“I think we started the game thinking it was a friendly or a training session. We didn’t approach the game in the way we had to.”
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