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McClaren ‘proud’ of his QPR side despite seeing FA Cup run finally come to an end

PUBLISHED: 22:25 15 February 2019

Matt Smith looks dejected as Queens Park Rangers go out of the Emirates FA Cup after defeat to Watford (pic: John Walton/PA)

Matt Smith looks dejected as Queens Park Rangers go out of the Emirates FA Cup after defeat to Watford (pic: John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Etienne Capoue scored game’s only goal as Rs go out of cup after being stung by Hornets

Steve McClaren insists he is proud of his Queens Park Rangers squad despite their 1-0 loss to Watford in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Rs were stung by the Hornets, with Etienne Capoue’s goal in first-half stoppage time the difference between the sides.

QPR were spirited in their display, but just lacked the quality needed to cause a shock in the cup.

That, however, did not stop McClaren from expressing how proud he was at what he saw from his side.

“I’m so proud of the players and the performance. It was our third game in six days and to be play at the intensity and level that they did against a top Premier League club, I was proud of them,” he said.

“I don’t think we could have done any more, obviously other than scoring a goal, and speaking to Joe Lumley after the game, we know he didn’t have many shots to save.

“Maybe there were some at the end because we’d taken some risks, but we lost the game by a set play.

“Watford showed a great resilience which they perhaps haven’t shown in recent years to get through because we threw everything at them.

“Toni Leistner’s chance at the end summed us up in the past few games. We were very close to getting something from the game, but not close enough.”

The game’s only goal arrived in scrappy fashion, with a Watford corner eventually working its way to Capoue.

The French midfielder’s shot also took a deflection on its way in and McClaren was frustrated with the manner in which his side conceded the winner.

“I was disappointed with the goal. We don’t like conceding from set plays because we work very hard on them,” added the 57-year-old.

“We knew Watford were going to be inventive and we had to be alert, but that was the only shot on goal that I can remember and the only time we felt in trouble.

“Our back three coped with Troy Deeney and Andrew Gray tremendously and our wing-backs caused them problems with crosses into their box. We competed, but you don’t win if you don’t score.”

Despite the defeat, QPR can at least reflect on a first real run in the FA Cup for a number of years as they reached the fifth round for the first time since 1997.

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