McClaren hails QPR youngsters and defends Ingram after cup win

QPR manager Steve McClaren praised his young players after a 2-1 victory at home to Leeds secured a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Jake Bidwell’s header from Luke Freeman’s corner with 15 minutes remaining took Rangers through.

Aapo Halme had equalised for Leeds a couple of minutes after Aramide Oteh’s first-half penalty.

Young forward Oteh was lively throughout, while the likes of winger Bright Osayi-Samuel and full-back Osman Kakay also impressed.

McClaren said: “With the penalty I was thinking ‘Who’s going to take this?’ and Oteh grabbed the ball and stuck it away in front of the Leeds fans. He showed great courage – a great mentality.

“We’ve got a lot of injuries but this showed the depth of the squad. The youngsters have worked hard, had to wait for their opportunities, and this shows the future is bright.

“Cups are exciting and it gives our squad an opportunity, so long may it continue.”

The win was QPR’s first in the FA Cup without the need of a replay for 22 years and first in the third round for 23.

Not since Trevor Sinclair scored a famous overhead kick against Barnsley, in 1997, had the R’s gone through at the first time of asking.

McClaren said: “In the last few weeks we created history by winning at Nottingham Forest for the first time and now we’re into the fourth round.

“But it’s not just that, it’s about a good performance and the result. I thought we deserved to win.

“We created a lot of chances and could have had more goals.”

McClaren also defended keeper Matt Ingram, whose mistake led to Leeds’ goal.

Ingram, given a chance having been kept out by Joe Lumley this season, fumbled Lewis Baker’s free-kick, enabling Halme to score from close range.

He did, however, produce a couple of important saves in the second half.

“For goalkeepers it’s a very lonely business,” McClaren said. “We wondered how he would react, not just under pressure from the opponents but from the (QPR) fans.

“He responded magnificently with one or two critical saves and did his job.

“He deserved his chance. He’s been fantastic in training and apart from one slip he was tremendous today.”