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Luongo learning on the job after return

MASS Luongo got his first taste of pre-season action in QPR’s 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.

The R’s battled back from 2-0 down to claim a creditable draw against the much-fancied Bundesliga outfit.

After falling behind to a brace from David Otto, Steve McClaren’s men got back into the game through a Toni Leistner header before Ryan Manning completed the comeback with just two minutes left.

Luongo came through 45 minutes of action unscathed following his return from World Cup duty with Australia, and he admitted: “It was tough – the first game of pre-season always is.

“It was good to get some minutes and to learn what the boys have been working on for the last two or three weeks.

“I am a little bit behind fitness wise and in terms of the structure of how we play but I thought the boys did really well and we looked good out there.”

Hoffenheim came third in the Budesliga last season and QPR were certainly made to work for their share of the spoils.

“We were defending for long spells because we were up against a really good side but we looked solid,” Luongo added.

“You can see why they did so well last year. Tactically they are very good and you can tell they have been playing that way for a long time.

“Technically they have a lot of very good individual players and they kept the ball very well.

“We are going to face that a lot this year but probably not against teams as good as them and if we can withstand these guys then it’s great practice going into the season.

“Overall I thought it was a positive game for us.”

Luongo admits he is still learning what is expected of him from the new R’s manager, as McClaren puts his own stamp on the squad.

“Playing is the best way to find out where I am in the team,” said the 25-year-old.

“I also find that I learn a lot by watching videos so I will be doing that too and will hopefully be right for the first game of the season at Preston.”

QPR were cheered on by more than 300 fans who had made the trip to the Hugo Koch Stadion and withstood heavy rain as they backed the R’s.

“We really appreciated their support,” Luongo added. “They travel with us wherever we go and always look to make the best out of any situation.

You could hear them when we scored that they were right behind us. I just want to thank them for showing us that support.

I thought the boys did really well and we looked good out there.

Massimo Luongo