Beale savours first win as QPR boss after Willock wonder goal

Queens Park Rangers' manager Mick Beale

Queens Park Rangers' manager Mick Beale gestures on the touchline - Credit: PA

QPR boss Michael Beale savoured his first win since taking over and was full of praise for Chris Willock after their 3-2 success over Middlesbrough.

The former Arsenal trainee, badly missed when sidelined last season, strode forward from deep, fended off two challenges and sent an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net to open the scoring at Loftus Road.

And Beale said: "What a goal. He's picked the ball up just inside our half, travelled 20 or 30 yards and put it in the top corner.

"We know how good he is at this level and he brings the best out of others. We were missing him and Luke Amos and felt they would make a difference - and they certainly made a difference.

Queens Park Rangers' Chris Willock

Chris Willock attacks for QPR against Middlesbrough at Loftus Road - Credit: PA

"I don't think people realise the effort it took for Chris to get through 70 minutes. But it was important we had him on the pitch, because he impacted the game - and what a fantastic goal."

Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes also netted to put QPR 3-0 up, before Matt Crooks and Marcus Forss replied either side of the break for Boro.

And Beale hopes the win will help restore confidence among a squad which was in the thick of the promotion race under his predecessor Mark Warburton last season before a spectacular slump.

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"As a young team we need to take confidence from it, because from January down this young changing room has been hit from pillar to post," he added

"In the first half we did a lot of good things and then we just got a bit nervous. That might just be eradicated with time together.

"We beat a very good Middlesbrough team, which shows that we're a good team ourselves. We'll stay under the radar and just keep working."

Boro boss Chris Wilder criticised his team's defending for two of QPR's goals but insisted keeper Zack Steffen was fouled in the build-up to the second - the ball bounced in off Dunne after Steffen was unable to collect a corner.

Wilder said: "When you give good players a handout, which we did - charity, aided by some ridiculous refereeing decisions - it's always going to be a difficult afternoon.

"There was a comment by the referee to a member of my staff at half-time that the goalkeeper has to be stronger.

"The referee doesn't (shouldn't) have an opinion in terms of coaching or what the goalkeeper needs to do. Especially when the goalkeeper's facing towards the corner and somebody behind him puts a hand on his back and pushes him."