MARC BIRCHAM praised the durability of his QPR Under-21s side after overcoming west London rivals Brentford on Monday.
Two goals in either half proved decisive as Rangers continued their recent winning run on their travels with a third straight away success.
Sub zero temperatures couldn't quell the R's attacking intent as goals from Mo Shariff, Max Ehmer, Michael Petrasso and Ben Brown fired Bircham's side to a comprehensive 4-2 victory in Osterley.
“Some of our youngsters had to ‘man up’ a bit because of the conditions; it was really windy, cold, the pitch was a bit bobbly so they had to take all that into consideration,” the R's boss told www.qpr.co.uk.
“Brentford are also quite a powerful side and with their set-pieces, we’ve had to throw bodies in the way. On top of that we played well, we passed it around quite well.
“We worked in training on keeping our width, getting players in behind with diagonal balls, and it paid dividends today.”
It was another afternoon to savour for the R’s academy as Bircham fielded no fewer than six youngsters from the Under-18s setup.
Goalkeeper Joe Lumley retained the gloves while Emmanuel Monthe, Josh Hunt-Laurent, Petrasso, Dylan Carreiro and Peter Skapetis completed the youthful line-up.
“It was a good test for them,” Bircham said. “It was our youngest team we’ve played so it’s a great result.
“We’ve got six players out on loan and now got the same number coming through from the Under-18s which is fantastic.”
The R's boss paid special tribute to Petrasso, who stole the limelight with an audacious lob from 20 yards.
The goal was just rewards for another all-action display from the Canadian, who was joined on the scoresheet by fellow winger Mo Shariff.
He added: “I’m really pleased for Mike because he’s an industrious player, he’s up and down all the time and he did well.
“He took his goal really well too, it was a great finish.
“Mo played well as well. He looked lively, wants to attack and always looks like he is going to score.”
Fellow goalscorers Ehmer – who wore the capitain’s armband in midfield – and centre-back Brown also received warm acclaim from Bircham, who was equally satisfied with the defensive qualities shown by his side.
He added: “Max led by example as captain and commanded himself well in the centre.
“The two centre halves were also fantastic. It was Ben’s first full game since August and Taylor [Parmenter], who has been a rock this season.”
Monday's victory sees Rangers leapfrog their west London rivals ahead of the R's next league outing, at home to Bristol City on Tuesday 9 April.