STEVE GALLEN insists QPR Under-18s' place in the end-of-season play-offs is far from guaranteed despite racking up an 11th straight win with victory at Ipswich Town on Saturday.
Town’s 15th-minute opener threatened to derail the R’s winning streak before goals from Aaron Mitchell, Connor Hubble and Peter Skapetis resumed normal service for the visitors.
Gallen admits maximum points were just rewards for his youngsters, who provided the perfect response after suffering an early setback.
"To go 11 games unbeaten, let alone win them all, is outstanding really,” Gallen told www.qpr.co.uk.
“I'm delighted with the lads. It was another excellent performance.
“It was a tough game and Ipswich are a decent side.”
“Going 1-0 up can make a big difference at this level and the team who scores first usually ends up with something, whether it be a win or a draw.
“To come from behind, win the game and score three goals was brilliant.”
The R’s boss was equally pleased with his side’s defence, who were called upon in the closing stages to preserve their two-goal advantage.
He added: “We were slightly disappointed to concede the goal but it was a very good finish.
“Our tempo was fantastic, particularly in the second half and Ipswich simply couldn’t cope with us.
“They had most of the possession in the final 20 minutes and pinned us back, but we defended well and kept a good discipline.”
Victory over the Tractor Boys cemented top spot in the Southern Section of Professional Development League Two for the R’s, who need a top-two finish to guarantee a place in the end-of-season play-offs against their Northern Section counterparts.
A repeat result in their next outing against Colchester on Saturday – who lie ten points behind in third place – should put the R’s well on course but Gallen is only taking one game at a time.
“We’re still heading in the right direction, that’s the most important thing," he said.
“We want to prolong the season and reach the semis. We’ve got four league games left and we’ll just do our best and see where we finish.
“We can’t be sure if we’ll finish in those top two but all I’m thinking about is doing our very best in each game."
Gallen has also been boosted by the return of Canadian midfield duo Dylan Carreiro and Mike Petrasso after the pair’s exploits at the U20 CONCACAF Championship in Mexico.
Their tournament ended with a quarter final defeat to bitter rivals USA but Gallen hopes they can turn disappointment into a positive with the R’s as they play their part in the season's climax.
“It’s good to have them back,” Gallen said.
“They’re two great kids, full of enthusiasm and they can certainly play.
“It makes the squad a little bit stronger having them.
“They were disappointed to lose to USA – it’s a grudge match for them – but it will be a great experience.
"I’m sure it will only help them for the future and hopefully, after a rest, they can kick-on with us from now for the rest of the season.”