QPR boss McClaren hails his ‘signing of the season’

Steve McClaren has described Angel Rangel as “the signing of the season” because of his performances for QPR.

West London Sport revealed in August that Rangers were bringing in Rangel, 35, on a short-term contract.

He was signed as cover with Darnell Furlong sidelined with the knee injury he suffered during pre-season.

Right-back Rangel, who was a free agent having left Swansea after 11 years with the Welsh club, has been excellent for the R’s.

So too have centre-backs Toni Leistner and Joel Lynch, who have formed a very decent partnership since the debacle at West Brom, where Rangers were trounced 7-1.

And with Jake Bidwell, who recently suffered a shoulder injury, continuing to be solid at left-back, McClaren believes he has a defence to be reckoned with after three consecutive clean sheets and four shut-outs in the past five games.

“I think they had a difficult beginning but Lynch and Leistner are really forming a good partnership,” said the Rangers manager.

“The full-backs – Angel Rangel must be so far the signing of the season. He’s 35 years old, came on trial and we signed him and he’s performed so well.

QPR beat Aston Villa to extend their fine run

“And Bidwell is playing while not 100% with his shoulder, so I’m so proud of them and the character they’ve showed.”

Rangers made it three wins from three games by beating Aston Villa 1-0 at Loftus Road on Friday night.

McClaren has fielded the same starting XI for all three matches and is pleased with the progress made since losing his first four league games in charge.

QPR have lost only two of their 11 subsequent Championship matches and are unbeaten in five.

Stuck together

McClaren admits it is a turnaround he did not see coming after such a dismal start.

“No, absolutely not after the first four games. We didn’t know when the next win was coming from,” he said.

“But I’ve got to say that we made the signings but the players, always from day one, were on board. There was a great spirit in the dressing room even when we were losing games.

“What we did was we stuck together. Many, many people doubted us. The main thing is that we never really doubted ourselves and we’re OK and going forward.

“But there’s a long way. This is the Championship, where yes we’re on a good run but lots of other teams take it in turns to go on good runs.

“You know the next defeat in the Championship is just around the corner and when are you going to win your next game?

“So we’ll look at Blackburn and will prepare for that from Monday, but enjoy the weekend.”