‘Curveball’ team selection paid off – Holloway

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Ian Holloway hailed his players after his changes paid off against Burton.

The QPR boss made five changes in all, including the recall of Conor Washington and a first start for teenager Aramide Oteh.

Both forwards were excellent in a 3-1 win for Rangers.

Oteh’s first senior goal put them ahead and, after Lloyd Dyer had equalised, Washington restored the lead before setting up Massimo Luongo for the visitors’ third goal.

It was a surprise selection by Holloway, who felt his Burton counterpart Nigel Clough expected Matt Smith or Idrissa Sylla to play up front for the visitors.

“I wanted to throw them a curveball. I think they would have expected Smith or maybe Sylla, which they would have relished,” Holloway explained.

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“I probably raised eyebrows again by playing Oteh in the team, but I felt it’s about changing the balance.

“Conor’s took not playing (not being selected) very, very well. He looked really, really sharp.

“I wanted to throw them a different challenge. I wanted two mobile ones up there and I wanted it to definitely be a two.

“Their manager, when he saw what we were doing, he didn’t expect that.

“We spoke to my team about doing things slightly differently and leaving two quick lads on there.

“Right from the off, you could see Burton weren’t expecting that. They were expecting Matt Smith and a big challenge and they were looking forward to that.

“I can tell you when they saw those two running in them and at them, they weren’t very happy, and I thought their manager did really well when he changed it and caused us a bit of a problem.”

Rangers’ win took them nine points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

“The performance was excellent. Overall I was very, very pleased,” Holloway added.