DOM Ball says that QPR’s immaculate ‘pitch geography’ was crucial to their rip-roaring start against Luton Town on Saturday.
The R’s raced into a three-goal lead inside 28 minutes at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium and, in truth, they could and maybe should have had more goals.
In the end, Rangers held off a Luton fight-back to win 3-2 and afterwards Ball told www.qpr.co.uk what he thought was key to the victory.
“It was our intensity and our sharpness,” the deep-lying midfielder said. “We were on the front foot from the start and positionally on the pitch it allowed us to play.
“It allowed us to dominate the ball and find the spaces. As a team, our ‘pitch geography’ was brilliant in that first half an hour. They [Luton] couldn’t handle us and we had our best attacking players in the pockets where they could hurt them, so it was really good.
“It was our best half an hour of football so far this season. 3-0 up and realistically it should’ve been four or five. To be able to come in at half-time and say that we should have been 5-0 up just shows the development that we have made as a squad of players.”
Ball also explained what he meant by ‘pitch geography’.
He said: “It’s one [a phrase] the gaffer uses and one that Lee Wallace talks to me quite a lot about too.
“Sometimes as a player in midfield it isn’t always about you getting the ball. If Toni [Leistner] is driving out with the ball from defence and I can take the striker away from him, it makes the team’s job easier.
“Pitch geography is about finding where the others are on the pitch. We put two weeks’ worth of preparation into this game and I think you could see the outcome of it in that first half an hour.”
After the fast-paced beginning, Luton clawed their way back into contention through goals from Harry Cornick and James Collins.
That meant Rangers had to show resilience – an attribute they have displayed a lot of already this season – to hold on to the victory.
“We always seem to make our games very interesting!” Ball smiled. “We’d only had two games where we haven’t gone 1-0 down but we’d still come back and won some of those.
“We are still winning games and that is four wins out of seven, plus one draw. We have got to look at that and say that we are pleased.”