Half-time ‘sort-out’ was needed at Sheffield United – Beale

Mick Beale says a “sort-out” at half-time was needed during QPR’s brilliant victory at Championship leaders Sheffield United.

Rangers’ 1-0 win was their third triumph in their past four away matches and put them fourth in the table.

Boss Beale was not satisfied with their first-half display but Chris Willock’s goal early in the second half secured the points.

Beale explained: “We had a bit of a sort-out at half-time. I wanted to show a bit more.

“I made three or four changes to the team for players who had been training well that really want to get into our starting team but haven’t been playing.

“I wanted to give them that opportunity and I felt at half-time that they were in danger of maybe not taking it.”

Right-back Ethan Laird, outstanding since arriving on loan from Manchester United, had a difficult first half at Bramall Lane, where the Blades’ left-sided combination of Jayden Bogle and Rhys Norrington-Davies caused him some problems.

Laird fared much better after the interval and set up Willock for the goal.

“Ethan Laird has been absolutely fantastic this season,” Beale said.

“In the first half, Bogle and Norrington gave him a torrid time, so I challenged him at half-time. He did better in the second half and went and got an assist.

“So at half-time we had to have a bit of a sort-out in terms of how we were approaching the game.

“Sheffield United are a much more established team than us in terms of being together longer and know-how, whereas we’re growing. So I’m absolutely delighted.”

Beale is hoping another hamstring injury suffered by Willock does not turn out to be serious.

The Rangers talisman, so badly missed this year when sidelined with a hamstring tear which required surgery, worryingly limped off five minutes after scoring.

Willock’s goal – his sixth in nine matches this season – again underlined his importance to Beale’s side.

So another injury is a worry – and there is also concern for keeper Seny Dieng, who seemingly has another thigh injury.

Dieng was sidelined by a thigh problem last season and was unable to take goal kicks during the second half against the Blades, with defender Jimmy Dunne doing so instead.

Rangers will anxiously wait for the results of scans before knowing the extent of the injuries.

“He (Willock) felt something in his hamstring,” said Beale.

“He’s come back after an operation where he missed from March through to the start of the season, so I’m hoping it’s not a bad one. But we won’t know (until the scan results).

“Seny couldn’t kick the ball. He’s pulled his thigh. It’s a concern.”