McClaren hails QPR’s first-half display in derby win over Millwall
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:48 20 September 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Rs led by two at the break after goals from Massimo Luongo and Ebere Eze
Steve McClaren believes an excellent first-half display from Queens Park Rangers set them well on their way to a 2-0 win at home to Millwall in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Rs dominated the ball in the opening half and held a deserved lead at the break after goals from Massimo Luongo and Ebere Eze.
The Lions improved after the break with substitute Steve Morison looking particularly dangerous, but QPR remained fairly comfortable on their way to taking all three points.
And manager McClaren says the performance from his team in the opening 45 minutes laid the foundations for their success over their London rivals.
“I think the first half in general put us in charge. It was an excellent performance — very solid, composed; we played football and caused them problems,” said the former England boss.
“I think Nahki Wells and Ebere up front and the midfield behind, it was a near complete performance in the first half.
“We knew with Morison coming on they’d play more direct and they did that.
“We had one scare with them hitting the bar and it would have been an interesting game then, but after we survived that we defended very well and I thought we had opportunities to get a third goal.”
Against Millwall, Eze continued his fine start to the campaign with his third goal in eight league matches.
In facing the Lions, the 20-year-old was coming up against a side whose academy he spent time with earlier in his career.
Eze showed the south Londoners exactly what they missed out on when letting him go with another brilliant attacking display full of direct running.
And McClaren was delighted the blossoming talent was able to demonstrate what he is capable of once again,
“I watched Ebere a lot last season and how anybody can let him go — I’m just so glad we’ve got him,” added the 57-year-old.
“He’s a talent, but he can get better. I think we need to add discipline to his game and work rate, but he’s showing that and he’s getting the rewards in the performances. “He’s a talented player, but talent is nothing and you’ve got to work hard. We’ve told him that.
“You’ve got to be disciplined and do a job for the team and I thought he was excellent.
“We were losing (Tomer) Hemed (who was observing Yom Kippur), so it was going to be difficult for us.
“I thought with Jordan (Cousins) on the right, Geoff Cameron came in and did a good job, and Ebs came in and played nine, nine-and-a-half, 10 and caused them real problems when he got the ball.
“There’s a long way to go, but he’s definitely a talent — he’s got tempo, he’s got to drive and use that tempo, which he did a lot more than he has done recently.”