No pressure on QPR at Leeds, says Smithies

QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies feels the pressure is off going into their game at promotion-chasing Leeds on Saturday.

Rangers recorded their fourth win in five games on Tuesday night, beating Barnsley 2-1 at Loftus Road to climb to 14th in the table and give themselves an 11-point cushion over the bottom three.

While Ian Holloway’s side cannot yet count themselves mathematically safe from relegation, Smithies said: “There’s no pressure on us now really, in terms of what we have to play for.

“It’s about getting as many numbers on the board as possible and pushing up to that top end of the table. That’d be a nice end to the season. We want to finish the season on a high.

“We’re on a good run and there’s no pressure on us going into the game, so we can just play our way and hopefully spoil their day.”

Smithies appeared set for his first shut-out in 10 games as Rangers built a 2-0 lead against Barnsley through Idrissa Sylla’s early strike and an own goal from Angus MacDonald.

However, Tom Bradshaw capitalised on a mistake by Grant Hall to halve the deficit and, although QPR held on, Smithies believes their recent improvement will soon also be reflected in the goals conceded column.

He said: “We’ve had two dominant displays with this and the Birmingham game the other week. I was hoping for a clean sheet but it wasn’t to be, which is very frustrating as a goalkeeper.

“The win is far more important but hopefully the clean sheets will come with the performances. It’s got to be getting closer – we’ve been resilient and we were a little bit unlucky not to do it against Barnsley.

“From my point of view, I had a very quiet game – the ball was certainly down their end far more than ours. Barnsley are a team who want to get forward in numbers and we didn’t let them do that.”