MX23RW : Tuesday, February 19 17:09:58
Feb 9, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Loftus Road Stadium (London)
Attendance: 14,234
QPRQueens Park Rangers
3-4
BirminghamBirmingham City
Smith (45', 48'), Cousins (80')
FT(HT: 1-4)
Adams (21', 26'), Dean (36', 42')

McClaren proud of QPR players despite Birmingham defeat

McClaren proud of QPR players despite Birmingham defeat
© Reuters
Rangers hit back from four goals down before eventually losing 4-3.

QPR manager Steve McClaren applauded his players after they almost pulled off an incredible comeback in their Sky Bet Championship match against Birmingham.

Rangers eventually lost 4-3 after storming back from four goals down at Loftus Road, where their former goalkeeper Lee Camp saved Nahki Wells' stoppage-time penalty to deny them a point.

It came after Che Adams' first-half hat-trick and Harlee Dean's header had put the visitors in control.

Rangers clawed their way back into the game, with Matt Smith scoring just before and after half-time and Jordan Cousins further reducing the deficit before Craig Gardner was adjudged to have fouled Luke Freeman.

Camp kept out the resulting spot-kick by Wells, but McClaren nevertheless took great satisfaction from his team's stirring second-half performance.

McClaren said: "I'm proud of the players and proud of the fans for staying with the team. We could have scored eight goals in that second half.

"It was a great performance in the second half and we were a penalty away from 4-4 from an impossible position.

"It was a great reaction at half-time and we need to take that forward."

McClaren was less impressed with Rangers' defending during what was a one-sided first half until Smith headed in Freeman's corner just before the interval.

The former England manager switched to three central defenders, sending on midfielder Cousins and centre-back Toni Leistner, after the hosts had been torn to shreds by Adams, who has now scored in six consecutive Championship matches.

McClaren said: "The aim when you play Birmingham is to contain (Lukas) Jutkiewicz and Adams. We did not handle them at all. It was not good.

"There were three things we had to change; attitude, personnel and we had to change shape.

"We changed shape. With the personnel I thought Jordan Cousins came on and did a great job and Toni Leistner tightened us up at the back a lot.

"I couldn't describe the first half in words, but the second half was pure joy and magnificent. The whole second half was just total domination.

"What do we want to create here? We want to create a team that the fans are proud of. The ovation the players got at the end was deserved."

Birmingham manager Garry Monk admitted his team lost their way after Smith's first goal.

"It was brilliant to be 4-0 up. To be four up and playing the way we were was fantastic," Monk said.

"I think the changing point was the goal just before half-time for them.

"You can be as fantastic as you want to be but momentum can change in football very quickly. It only takes a split second.

"We made a couple of mistakes in the build-up to that goal and that gave them the bit of belief they needed.

"As fantastic as we were in the first half, that first goal showed how momentum can change.

"You knew that in the second half QPR were going to come out and throw everything at it, and they did.

"They had nothing to lose, they threw everything at it and we had to put bodies on the line.

"The most important thing is the three points. To come away with those I think is a fantastic result for us."


Click here for more stories about Steve McClaren

Click here for more stories about Birmingham City

Share this article now:
Martin O'Neill in charge of Nottingham Forest on January 26, 2019
Read Next:
O'Neill admits he has lots of work to do at Forest
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account