Marti Cifuentes hopes tide has turned as QPR revival continues

Posted Sunday, February 04, 2024 by PA

Marti Cifuentes hopes tide has turned as QPR revival continues

QPR head coach Marti Cifuentes hailed an ‘important’ 2-1 win at Blackburn that bolstered his side’s chances of Sky Bet Championship survival.

Rangers came into this game with only one away win since September but deservedly put that statistic to bed with a two-goal haul in the space of three second-half minutes.

The 61st-minute opener came when Ilias Chair’s shot hit the woodwork and went in off Blackburn keeper Aynsley Pears for an own goal, but it was luck their performance merited and substitute Joe Hodge slotted a debut goal that doubled the advantage.

Sam Gallagher fired beyond Asmir Begovic to set up a grandstand finish but the Rs held on to stretch their unbeaten run to three.

They remain three points from safety but more teams – including Blackburn – will now be nervously looking over their shoulders and Cifuentes hopes this is a ‘turning point’.

He said: “Important win for us, definitely because we knew we were playing against a team that offensively they are one of the best teams.

“When they are in possession, they can create a lot of chances and I think we contained them well for first 70-75 minutes.

“In addition, a difficult place for QPR historically, it’s been a lot of years since the last victory. In this situation, where we are, every victory is so, so important with the results that happened today.

“It was not easy. I think small margins today, the goal of Ilias (Chair), a very brilliant action but today the ball rebounded and went in. Other days, unfortunately it’s been post and out.

“I’m a big believer that the small margins when you work hard, when you work in a humble way, starts to pay off. Hopefully this will be what this team will start to achieve because since my arrival, the team has been competing very well in all the games. Hopefully this can be a turning point.”

The Ewood Park atmosphere was mutinous towards the club’s owners and CEO after a sixth defeat in eight which leaves them five points off the bottom three.

Manager Jon Dahl Tomasson described the goals as ‘unnecessary’ and praised the fans for rallying behind his team.

He said: “We are disappointed to lose the game. I think actually we started really well. It was a good chance for Ben (Chrisene). Brilliant play, he should have scored that.

“I don’t think the level is the same as Monday when we really played well and in the end of the game, we scored a good goal but we created plenty of chances to score goals.

“We conceded two unnecessary goals of course where we should have done better. We knew they could be dangerous in transition where we lost balls where normally we shouldn’t lose balls.

“I think the lads and our fans showed great character. We almost got the draw. I think we had two or three good opportunities. Big chances to get the second.

“So all the credit to the players and actually also for the fans to stay behind the team but of course disappointed. We want to win games.”


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