QPR ‘in a better place’, says McClaren

Steve McClaren

QPR boss Steve McClaren felt his side’s display at Birmingham underlined how much they have improved since a dire start to the season.

Rangers, who lost their opening four league games under McClaren, drew 0-0 at St Andrews having been thrashed 7-1 at West Brom in their previous away game.

They have been strengthened by the recent loan signings of Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells, who were both dangerous up front in a game the visitors ought to have won.

“In the end we’re disappointed we didn’t win the game,” McClaren admitted.

“Birmingham rode their luck. We let them off the hook. We can’t do that again, but we’re in a better place now than we were two weeks ago.”

McClaren is encouraged by what he has seen in recent games and hopes the addition of Geoff Cameron, who came on as a late substitute for his debut, also helps Rangers stabilise further after the international break.

A second successive clean sheet in the league also bodes well for Rangers and in particular the defensive partnership of Joel Lynch and summer signing Toni Leistner, which was ripped to shreds early in the campaign.

McClaren said: “We knew Birmingham would be direct. We knew they’d put balls into our box and we’d have to deal with that.

“I thought Leistner and Lynch were very good. It was a good team performance – if one made a mistake another covered for them. Everyone was working hard.

“Leistner is dominant and with Lynch they can have a good partnership, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

He added: “When I look at the squad, that squad can go forward. Two weeks hard work now and then we start again.

“With two wins and a draw in the last week, slowly but surely we need to recover from the first four games we had at the start. Now we need to build from this.

“We had to wait to get players in, but the squad looks better now than it did.

“This is a talented young squad we’ve got and it needed some experience – some men around them – and I think we’ve signed that.”