McClaren expects QPR to be full of confidence for Birmingham clash after cup win
PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 February 2019
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Rs beat Portsmouth in FA Cup fourth-round replay in midweek
Steve McClaren believes Queens Park Rangers will be full of confidence when they host Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday after progressing in the FA Cup in midweek.
The Rs reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1997 with a 2-0 win at home to Sky Bet League One high-flyers Portsmouth in a fourth-round replay on Tuesday.
That success was just a second win in eight matches in all competitions for the west Londoners, who are still yet to triumph in the league in 2019.
QPR boss McClaren will hope that wait for a league success comes to an end at home to the Blues this weekend.
And the former England manager believes the cup success for the Loftus Road club in midweek will have provided a timely confidence boost.
“There’s no reason why we won’t take the confidence gained from Tuesday into the match, but Saturday is an important game for us against a very good Birmingham team who, away from home, appear to be getting results,” said the 57-year-old.
“It’s not going to be easy and we’ve got to get our feet back on the ground and get back to work in preparation for Saturday.”
Matt Smith could be handed a rare league start for QPR against Birmingham this weekend after impressing against Portsmouth in the cup.
The forward netted the second goal and linked up well with strike partner Nahki Wells.
And McClaren expressed delight with what he saw from Smith in the victory over Portsmouth.
“Matt’s been very patient and not had many opportunities, but the last couple of months when he’s come on, he’s impacted and done very well,” he added.
“He causes opponents problems and deserved his opportunity which he took very well.
“I said at the end of the transfer window that I’m delighted with the squad that I’ve got.
“We didn’t make any signings, but we kept players and Matt was one of them we wanted to keep because he’s certainly an impact off the bench but can also give a good performance.
“Matt now has shown he’s a valuable member of the squad. He can come in, he can impact, and it was great for him to get nearly 90 minutes and get a goal.”