QPR boss McClaren praised his players for their efforts as they ended winless run
PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 February 2019
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Queens Park Rangers manager Steve McClaren has praised his side’s performance as they sealed a 1-0 victory over promotion chasing Leeds United.
A 49th minute goal from midfielder Luke Freeman guided the R’s to three points and moved them up one place to 17th in the Championship.
And the 57-year-old former England boss feels it was a much-deserved win to bring an end to their nine game winless run.
“Magnificent performance and a tremendous four hours of football – or at least it seemed like four hours,” McClaren said.
“I was so proud of the players, milking the applause, because we’ve been going through results that have been undeserved – last minute goals, last minute penalties that shouldn’t have been.
“With the FA Cup run I think that’s our eighth game in 24 days, we were worried about fatigue and not enough time on the training ground, and after Saturday I thought it’s going to take an almighty effort to win this game.
“But they were tremendous, came in on Monday and showed great spirit, togetherness.
“We just said we stay calm, don’t panic, it will turn, you’ll get the luck. But you work hard for that and we worked hard for that tonight, for that clean sheet.
“That’s why we went on such a great run before, and that’s why we lose games, because we’re not keeping clean sheets, so tonight I hope is the start of that sort of run again.”
The former Derby County manager believes his R’s dealt with the early pressure from Marcelo Bielsa’s side and made the game their own in the second-half.
“I thought we started well and then they pinned us back. I thought we were a little too deep, and they’re such a good team with so much quality and so much movement.
“Opportunities flashed across our goal, but in the second half I really thought we came out on the front foot, played a bit higher, got the goal and kept that up.
“The subs made a huge difference, we nearly got the second with Bright (Osayi-Samuel), and then we defended really well at the end and game management was really good.
“We made mistakes, but we fought for each other and that’s the key thing. There’s going to be mistakes but we always say ‘cover your mate’ and we covered our mate.”