Queens Park Rangers: Ian Holloway 'knew' his team could beat high-flying Sheffield United
PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 November 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
QPR boss says past performances gave him confidence that his side could blunt Blades
Ian Holloway insists Queens Park Rangers’ displays in recent weeks gave him the belief the west Londoners’ could beat teams like Championship high-flyers Sheffield United.
Idrissa Sylla scored the game’s only goal on Tuesday night as Holloway marked his 300th game in charge of QPR with a 1-0 win at home to the Blades.
The victory was the Rs’ second at home in just three days, having beaten leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1.
Prior to that success over Wolves, though, the west Londoners were on a winless run of seven games.
Holloway, however, insists that performances had still been good despite results, and stated his belief his side could do something special this term.
“Whatever anyone else thinks on the outside, results like this might make them sit up, but it ain’t about that,” said the 54-year-old.
“I knew this was happening a couple of weeks ago because I watched my team. Anyone who’s been here was watching the team.
“Don’t write us off yet, it’s a tough division, but hopefully we’ll get there.
“We’re doing it with some new boys and I can’t wait to work with them all, but what more can I say? That is a fantastic team we played against, they’ve been beating everybody.”
QPR’s goal against the Blades came inside five minutes in slightly bizarre fashion.
Sylla chased a ball over the top from defender Alex Baptiste, but was beaten to it by United stopper Jamal Blackman.
However, as the on-loan Chelsea keeper came to collect the ball, he clattered into teammate Cameron Carter-Vickers.
As Blackman hit the ground, the ball squirmed out of his grasp and fell at the feet of a slightly confused Sylla, who tapped into an empty net for his third goal in his last four matches.
And while Holloway admits that QPR struck in fortuitous fashion, he believes it was fully deserved for the early work his side put in.
“We got a very lucky goal – I hope the goalie is all right – and I would have loved to have scored a much better goal, but we forced that,” he added.
“We forced them into their centre back, we put three up top and tried to do that.
“Once we got in front, they got a little beat of steam and we couldn’t quite get there, but it was a big win and we needed it.”