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Luongo: It was a positive performance

MASSIMO Luongo believes QPR can take heart from Saturday’s performance against promotion-hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Rangers became the first side to breach the Boro defence on home soil this season, only to end up on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at the Riverside Stadium.

Luongo – who skippered the side in Nedum Onuoha’s absence – shared his reaction afterwards, telling “Everyone was devastated that we didn’t hold out.

“Middlesbrough are a quality team and they’re going to create chances, but it was up to us whether we could withstand it. We did for long periods and we looked good out there, we looked solid and we created things.

“At 2-1 up we probably should have camped in a little bit. It’s not the best way arguably but the game management side of it is perhaps something we could have handled better.

“But the boys can leave with their heads held high and we’ll take a step forward from it. It was a positive performance and we proved we can mix it with the very best in this league.”

The performance was all the more impressive considering QPR’s mounting injury problems, which saw Onuoha, Josh Scowen and Conor Washington all miss out amongst five changes to the starting XI.

One of those changes saw David Wheeler start, who took less than two minutes to find the net on his full debut.

“We came into this game with a bit of momentum,” Luongo added. “But, before you know it, there’s a few injuries and we’ve got to start all over again.

“Well done to David. He was thrown into the deep end and it paid off; he got his goal and did well.

“There’s always going to be injuries during the season and it’s about having the players to take their place.”

Meanwhile Onuoha’s absence meant it was left to Luongo to proudly take the captain’s armband.

“It was a massive privilege,” he said. “Unfortunately Nedum’s out so I’m just filling his spot.

“I like the responsibility – the gaffer wanted to put that responsibility on me and I would never turn it down. I can only learn from it.”

Ian Holloway’s men now have a week to prepare for their next test in the shape of Burton Albion at Loftus Road.

Looking ahead to that, Luongo concluded: “We’ve just got to go again against Burton and build on this, because it was a good performance.

“We’ve got a full week now to get ready for it and hopefully we’ll have a few players back.

“With a week’s training we should be strong going into next Saturday.”

The gaffer wanted to put that responsibility on me and I would never turn it down.

Massimo Luongo