ASSISTANT coach Tony Smith praised QPR Ladies’ fighting spirit after twice coming from behind to preserve a point against Tottenham Hotspur.
Rangers were seconds away from defeat until Sarah Staples’ late leveller reignited the R’s survival hopes at the expense of their relegation rivals.
Sunday’s 2-2 draw extended the Ladies’ unbeaten run to three games and Smith insists their second-half comeback proves they are finally heading in the right direction.
“That’s something we didn’t show at the beginning of the season,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“As soon as went behind the heads would have gone down. But they responded well today.”
Manager Martino Chevannes – who handed over first-team duties to the R's assistant in his absence – stressed the need for maximum points prior to kick-off but Smith admits he was relieved to at least leave with one, despite watching the R’s dominate for long periods.
“Both of the Spurs goals were when we were having the majority of possession and were in the ascendancy,” Smith added.
“Their game plan worked well, to sit back and hit us on the counter-attack, but it was two poor goals to concede from our point of view.
“We had some strong words at half-time but the response from the girls was really good.
“Considering where we were after 80 minutes I’m pleased with a point.”
Smith admitted the playing surface far from favoured his side, as heavy rain overnight and throughout the afternoon played its part in proceedings.
“It certainly wasn’t conducive to good football and I think it more favoured Tottenham than it did us,” he said.
“We like to get it down and play and that’s how we’ve been performing the last couple of weeks. But today it wasn’t a game for the purists, it was just a case of getting the ball from back to front as quickly as possible.”
The R’s assistant also paid tribute to match-saving hero Staples, who came to the rescue with a clinical display of finishing in front of goal.
Smith admits goals have been a welcome addition to the R’s game in recent weeks, defying their early season inefficiencies in the final third by netting twice for the third successive outing.
He added: “Yet again we’ve scored another two goals so we’re starting to find the back of the net.
“They were two great finishes from Sarah; she was the driving force in midfield.
“The second one was a good finish but the first one was even better because she still had to deal with the conditions. She had to dig it out, take it past a player and then fire it past a county goalkeeper.”
A point apiece keeps Rangers rooted to the foot of the table but ensures Rangers remain only one point and one place below their opponents.
Smith knows survival is paramount to the R’s future but is keeping upbeat about their chances of beating the drop.
He added: “We want the club to be in a good position next season and that is maintaining its Premier League status.
“We’ve got four out of the next five games at home so we’re still very much in control of own destiny.”