Leeds United boss hails defence for dealing with direct QPR

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Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen praised his defence after Kemar Roofe’s hat-trick clinched a 3-1 victory at QPR.

Roofe was the visitors’ hero but Christensen felt the way his side dealt with Rangers’ former Leeds target man Matt Smith was crucial.

“In the first half we were not good but in the second we were better and it was important to score the first goal,” Christiansen said.

“The whole defensive line was much better. We’ve had five games now where we have defended better and believe we’re stronger.

“They came under pressure and we defended well, because it was difficult with QPR’s direct play with Smith up front. It was a tough test for the defence.

“We have had five very good performances and I’m very pleased with the team, the performance and of course the result.”

Roofe scored with two close-range finishes in the second half and then sealed Leeds’ win with an injury-time strike after a terrible mistake by keeper Felix Wiedwald led to a freak goal for Pawel Wszolek.

Wszolek played the ball into the box, where Wiedwald misjudged the bounce and was unable to prevent the ball crossing the line after it sailed over his head.

But Christiansen defended the German, who atoned by producing a fine save to deny Idrissa Sylla.

Christiansen said: “Thanks saving two or three opportunities. OK he made a mistake, but he didn’t cost us points.

“It’s very important for the confidence for us to win away. Last season we lost 3-0 at QPR but have showed we have learnt.

“I had belief in the team when we were in the top six and when we were out.”