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Smith hails impact of McClaren as QPR boss

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 July 2018

Queens Park Rangers forward Matt Smith (back) and Jake Bidwell (pic: Mark Kerton/PA)

Queens Park Rangers forward Matt Smith (back) and Jake Bidwell (pic: Mark Kerton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Rs hitman also looking to have best season to date

Queens Park Rangers forward Matt Smith has hailed new manager Steve McClaren for his organisational skills.

The striker and his Rs colleagues have spent the best part of the last week under McClaren’s watchful eye at a training camp in Portugal.

For much of the QPR squad, the first few days of pre-season training have been their first dealings with the new man at the helm.

But Smith says he is highly impressed with what he has seen so far from the former England boss.

“Steve delivers very concise messages and is extremely organised,” Smith told the club website

“Footballers by nature are moaners, so from that point of view, you can’t blame anything.

“It makes our life a lot easier. There are no excuses. We are familiar with the facilities in Portugal.

“The pitches, food and service is first class so we are lucky that we can reap the benefits of a hard week training here.

“Having that structure and organisation enables us to get on and perform to the best of our ability.”

Under former manager Ian Holloway last season, Smith had his most productive season to date in professional football and played a hand in 20 goals.

It was an impressive return from the 29-year-old, but he is confident he can do even better this term.

“I contributed 20 goals without ever really being the main focal point of attack until the back end of the season,” added the ex-Fulham attacker.

“That gives you confidence but also I’m coming into my peak years now, I’m not going to get any slower, so it’s about using that experience of four or five years of Championship football to get the most out of the season.

“I always have personal targets. I want this to be my best ever season, that’s my target and if I can do that we will be in a good place.

“For now though it’s about getting the base to work off for the rest of the season. My focus is to get those five weeks of hard graft under my belt.”

QPR are set to play their first pre-season friendly on Saturday when they face League One side Charlton Athletic in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

And Smith will hope he gets the chance to impress McClaren by being handed a starting berth against the Addicks.

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