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QPR getting that winning feeling back says Ian Holloway after back-to-back successes

PUBLISHED: 13:27 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 22 February 2017

Birmingham City's Emilio Nsue tries to out-muscle Queens Park Rangers' Jake Bidwell. Picture: JOHN WALTON/EMPICS SPORT

Birmingham City's Emilio Nsue tries to out-muscle Queens Park Rangers' Jake Bidwell. Picture: JOHN WALTON/EMPICS SPORT

EMPICS Sport

Two wins in four days are a sign that QPR are finding their mojo says manager Ian Holloway.

The Hoops followed up a fantastic 4-1 victory at Birmingham City on Saturday with a 2-1 success at home to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night.

It has lifted them 10 points clear of the Latics who occupy the final relegation spot in the Sky Bet Championship.

And the boss thinks the signs are there that confidence is on the up.

He said: “We got an ugly win but the character has come and you can see that the lads are growing.

“The work-rate is there. They’re all wearing the shirt with so much pride. Even if we had drawn that game I still would have been happy with their effort. I can’t ask for any more from any one of them.

“We’re getting that feeling that we can win games, and that’s absolutely vital. We need a feeling that we can be good at this level and are moving forward.”

Conor Washington was the inspiration behind Tuesday night’s win, grabbing the winner on the hour with a thumping shot from the edge of the area after earlier setting up Matt Smith for an early lead.

Washington is in the middle of a fine goalscoring run.

After netting just twice in 31 games under former boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, he has now scored four in six.

His goal on Saturday had made it 2-0 with Idrissa Sylla and Yeni N’Gbakoto completed the rout before Emilio Nsue got a last minute consolation.

The win at St Andrews had been started by Smith’s first goal for the club, heading home Luke Freeman’s corner.

And speaking after the game on Saturday, Holloway was full of praise for the former Fulham man.

“Matt Smith is a player I’ve always wanted,” he said. “He is still catching up to speed. He is such a handful and scored with a brilliant header.

“The last thing you want is him towering above you. I am delighted for him as he is a wonderful kid. And what was also pleasing was that all my strikers scored.

“There is now a good feeling within the team. It shows where we are trying to get. The standard is so high and tough. We had some bad results which knocked our confidence but obviously I hope that we can build on this win.”

Rangers will now look to build on their renewed optimism and upturn in form with a trip to Preston North End on Saturday.

The Lilywhites are currently 10th, nine points above QPR, and have lost just once in the last 10 games.

Boxing Day was the last time they tasted defeat at Deepdale in the league but in this sort of form, Rangers will certainly fancy their chances.

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