Beale hails Willock after first QPR victory

Chris Willock scored a brilliant goal on his return to the QPR side (Image: Ian Randall | MI News)

Mick Beale savoured his first victory since taking over as QPR boss.

Rangers held off a Middlesbrough fightback to win 3-2 at Loftus Road, where Chris Willock marked his return from injury with a brilliant opening goal.

Willock strode forward from deep, fended off two challenges and sent an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.

“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,” Beale said.

“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.

“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.”

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.

“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 said.

“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.”

On a less positive note for Rangers, loan signing Taylor Richards could be out for two months.