Cifuentes praises players after QPR draw

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes praised his players for a vastly improved performance in the goalless draw at Ipswich.

Rangers were dismal in a 2-0 defeat at Millwall on Boxing Day – their third consecutive loss – but were much better at Portman Road.

Cifuentes said: “It was a good answer from my guys after a disappointing performance on Boxing Day.

“We were very committed and competed at a very good level during all the game.”

Rangers went close to scoring when Steve Cook headed Kenneth Paal’s first-half corner against the post.

They also appealed in vain for a penalty for an apparent foul on Paul Smyth and should certainly have been awarded a penalty in stoppage time when Reggie Cannon’s cross was handled by Kayden Jackson.

Cifuentes said: “There were some marginal situations and we could perhaps have won the game. We hit the post and a couple of situations.

“Usually I don’t like to speak about refs, but unfortunately in the last games we got three or four situations that could have been on our side.

“I am not a manager you will hear complain about refs. They have a very difficult job. They have been excellent today for 95 minutes but it was a very clear handball.”

The start of the second half was delayed because of a medical emergency in the crowd and the match eventually resumed after the teams were allowed a six-minute warm-up period on the pitch.

Chris Willock, whose fitness has been an issue, was replaced at that point by Smyth.

“It’s tricky to keep players warm,” Cifuentes explained.

“Chrissy Willock has been on the edge today and we tried to push him and in the end, after all the delay, after the warm-up he felt he was not ready.”

Cifuentes added that Ilias Chair is being assessed after going off with an injury in the second half.