McClaren says QPR will improve after opening-day loss

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren insisted QPR will improve after their season and his reign as manager began with a 1-0 defeat at Preston.

Rangers were second best for much of the game but substitute Idrissa Sylla went close to scoring a last-minute equaliser.

McClaren felt his young side showed their inexperience at times and he is keen to add to his squad ahead of the loan window closing at the end of the month.

But he is upbeat about Rangers’ prospects for the season.

“We didn’t do enough to win the game. We very nearly got a draw,” he said.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game against a wiley old, experienced, Preston team who’ve been doing jobs on people and know how to win games, especially at home.

Matt Ingram in Rangers’ goal barely had a shot to save

“They demonstrated their experience and at times we showed our naivety.

“We need to be better on the ball and that’s something that doesn’t just happen. It’s constant work on the training field and we’ll be back on Monday working on that.

“This is a very young team. You saw that today. We just need to grow and get more experience.

“I’m absolutely positive that we’ll grow and get better and will be totally different in 10 games’ time.”

Osman Kakay had a decent game at right-back and Ebere Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ryan Manning were among other youngsters to feature at Deepdale, where Matt Smith missed a first-half chance to put the visitors ahead.

McClaren said: “I like this team. I like these young players. I like them to express themselves and they’ve been doing that.

“They’ve been a delight to work with and today they gave everything. They want to play good football and that’s probably what disappointed me today – we didn’t do enough of that.

“They’re disappointed because they’ve been feeling positive all of pre-season. They want to show their talent and I believe they can.”