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Ian Holloway: 'I couldn't fault the lads'

QPR boss Ian Holloway felt his side ‘had a right go’ in Friday night’s West London derby against Fulham – despite seeing his team lose 2-1 at Loftus Road.

A Jack Robinson own goal gave Fulham a first half lead against the run of play on 41 minutes, as the visitors went in a goal to the good at the break.

Fulham were awarded a soft 83rd minute penalty when sub Neeskens Kebano fell to ground inside the box, but justice was done when Rui Fonte fired high and wide from the spot.

But the Cottagers made it two soon after, when Stefan Johansen slotted from 15-yards just two minutes later.

Conor Washington halved the deficit in the second of nine stoppage-time minutes, yet despite late, late chances for Luke Freeman, Massimo Luongo, Matt Smith and even goalkeeper Alex Smithies, Rangers failed to muster an equaliser.

A disappointed Holloway told “I’m gutted to be honest with you.

“I can’t fault the players one bit, because they gave me everything.

“Fulham are a really-good team, we knew they were going to be. They’ve got some wonderful movement.

“But I felt we tried to be the home team and tried be on the front foot. They got through us a couple of times, but I felt we gave a good fist of it.”

He added: “We put their backline under a lot of pressure late on. There was lots of good stuff, lots of good movement. We might not be as pretty as them sometimes, but I thought we were very effective.

“We caused them problems – but we just couldn’t force home an equaliser, which I thought we deserved.

“We came close two or three times, we just need to calm down (in front of goal). We needed ice in our veins.

“We’re missing too many chances to make things count. Goals, at the right time for you, really do build your confidence.”

Despite the defeat, Holloway couldn’t fault his players’ efforts, adding: “As you could see, we’ve come an awful long way.

“I think the crowd will go home and think, ‘Wow, the boys had a right go there.’

“At the minute, we’re dropping off where we want to be and our away form isn’t where we need it to be.

“But we’ve just lost at home for the first time, despite having chance after chance at the end.”

I think the crowd will go home and think, ‘Wow, the boys had a right go there.’

Ian Holloway
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