MARC BIRCHAM hailed the impact of QPR's rising stars after watching his Under-21s side secure successive wins with victory at Millwall on Friday.
Rangers impressed again on the road as goals from Angelo Balanta – his fourth in two games – and Emmanuel Monthe sealed back-to-back away wins on a bitterly cold afternoon in south London.
The R's boss was left to reflect on a hugely satisfactory week for the Elite Development Squad, as Friday's success came four days after Bircham's youngsters fired eight past Barnet.
“It was another good performance,” Bircham told www.qpr.co.uk. "It was a good way to finish the week.
“We’ve scored from two deliveries from Frankie [Sutherland] and that’s exactly what we’ve been working on in training.
“It was difficult conditions, there was a bit of a slope on the pitch and the wind didn’t help either.
“It could have made things tricky for us but I thought we were excellent.”
Rangers scored no fewer than 10 goals during a week which saw Bircham blood a host of young hopefuls from the Under-18s setup.
Peter Skapetis and Connor Hubble were both on the scoresheet in Monday’s emphatic 8-1 win at Barnet, starring alongside Joe Lumley, Jake Downs and left-back Monthe.
Skapetis and Monthe retained their place for the trip to Millwall while fellow Under-18s starlet Josh Hunt-Laurent capped his inclusion with an equally accomplished display against the Lions.
“Josh was excellent. There were a lot of good performances but with Josh being Under-18 he was probably our best performer,” he said.
“That’s the main thing that’s come out of the two games, how well the Under-18s have done.
“They have all really impressed and that can only bode well for the club.”
The R’s boss was also quick to applaud the rest of his side, on an afternoon which saw R’s defender Luke Young lead by example with a commanding performance alongside Taylor Parmenter at the back.
He added: “I don’t like to single players out, there were a lot of good performances out there.
“Luke Young was brilliant, particularly with his attitude. Taylor Parmenter has been fantastic for us at the back and was again today.
“That was probably Frankie [Sutherland]’s best performance out of the three [games in the last 10 days] and is getting his fitness back while Max [Ehmer] has also done a job in midfield.
“But you could go through everyone. It was a good performance from the entire team, we couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Bircham was equally pleased with his side’s defending as R’s goalkeeper Aaron Lennox kept a welcome clean sheet, a feat which had escaped Rangers in their last two outings.
“That’s probably what I was most pleased about,” he said.
“I said that to them before, that’s what I wanted. I think with the players we’ve got we’re always can get a goal in the game so if we can keep a clean sheet we should be capable of winning most games.”
Victory on Friday leaves Bircham’s side fourth in the U21 Professional Development League 2 (South), four points off leaders Charlton.
The R’s boss is hoping to continue their rise up the table as they welcome Ipswich to Harlington on Saturday.
He said: “The lads are looking really fit so hopefully we can keep them physically fit with no injuries and take our form into our next game.”