JAKE Bidwell was naturally delighted to help QPR to a 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, but even more so on the evening when the club paid tribute to Ray Wilkins.
Wilkins passed away last week following a cardiac arrest. Prior to the game against the Owls, the R’s remembered their former player and manager with a minute’s applause after Les Ferdinand and Andy Sinton laid wreaths in his honour.
Wilkins’ brothers Dean and Steve, and sister Sandra were in attendance on an emotional night, and Bidwell said: “His passing was very close to home for QPR.
“Speaking with people who knew him, you just don’t hear a bad word said of him. Everyone says he was a terrific footballer but an even better person and that speaks volumes about the sort of man he was.
“He had a positive effect on a lot of people’s lives at QPR and I am just pleased that we were able to win for him.”
QPR’s victory came on the back of a 4-0 loss at Hull three days ago. Goals from Paul Smyth, Bidwell and Idrissa Sylla put the R’s 3-0 up inside the first 15 minutes, and the QPR left back said: “After the defeat at Hull we wanted to come out of the blocks flying and put them under pressure from the off.
“Obviously it was a very emotional night and we felt we had the crowd right with us. I think we scored from our first three attacks so you can’t really ask for a better start than that.
“It was always going to be hard to maintain that for 90 minutes. We tried to keep it going as best we could but in the second half it was important that we managed the game properly when they got the two goals.”
Sylla netted a fourth from the penalty spot before goals from Fernando Forestieri and Atdhe Nuhiu reduced the deficit for the Owls.
Prior to scoring his second of the season Bidwell provided the cross for Smyth’s opener.
“I am just trying to keep doing what I’ve been doing lately,” he explained. “I seem to be in a good rhythm with my crossing at the moment. I put the ball in the box and Smythy finished it well.
“I got a bit fortunate with my goal. I didn’t finish the first effort as I meant to, I was trying to put it in the far corner with the outside of my foot.
“Thankfully I got another chance with it and managed to put it away. I put it in the corner – it would have been nice if I could have done that with the penalty a couple of weeks ago!
“But I want to chip in with goals and assists, and thankfully I managed to do that in a winning performance tonight.”