Luongo wary of threat Burton pose

QPR welcome Burton Albion to Loftus Road this weekend, buoyed a four-match unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship.

One man who has been pivotal in the R’s return to form is Massimo Luongo, who has started the last two matches after a short bout of illness, and is now going from strength-to-strength in the heart of the Hoops midfield.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash against a Burton side who dropped into the bottom three last weekend, Luongo admits he and his team-mates won’t be taking the Brewers lightly, despite the R’s recent revival.

"It will be a tough game this weekend – make no mistake,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.

"We won't be taking this game lightly, no way.

"Burton will come here and will want to look to turn things around.

"We were in a similar position to them a few weeks ago, so we know how it feels.

"I'm sure they'll be looking at this game and thinking they can improve things, so we'll need to be on our game and at our best and that's what we'll be striving for.”

He added: "They might look at what we've done recently as a bit of motivation.

"There's always a chance of putting a run together in this league – we've done it in the last four games and now we want to build on it.”

After beating high-flying Reading on their own patch a fortnight ago, the Hoops shared the spoils with Fulham at Loftus Road last Saturday.

In both games, Rangers relinquished possession for long spells, but defended superbly and attacked at will on the counter to continue their impressive mini-run.

Luongo, however, is expecting a different type of challenge altogether this weekend.

"The emphasis will be on us to take the game to them at Loftus Road this weekend,” he said, “I think we have to.

"It was different against Fulham last weekend and Reading before then, because they're two sides who like to play possession football.

"We executed our game plan against both those teams quite well, but this game will be different.

"We'll put pressure on ourselves to try and dominate the game in front of our own supporters.

"We're at home, and with our crowd behind us, we want to push on and continue this good run we're currently on.”

Burton look certain to welcome back Luongo’s fellow Australian team-mate, Jackson Irvine, from injury this weekend – and Luongo is wary of the threat posed by his international colleague.

"Jackson's a good player and someone I know a lot about,” said Luongo.

"He's full of energy; he gets in the box; he's got goals in his game.

"We highlighted him as one of their main threats in the last game and I'm sure we'll look at him again ahead of the weekend.”

One huge plus point in recent weeks has been the emergence of Luongo’s midfield partner, Ryan Manning, who has started the R’s last four league matches, scored his first goal and signed a new long-term contract.

And 24-year-old Luongo has nothing but praise for the Irish youngster.

"I've been really impressed with Ryan,” he said.

"He's been fantastic for us in a very short space of time.

"Besides getting around the pitch in a productive way, he's just got a First Team head on him, and that's fantastic for such a raw, young player.

"He knows where to be; he knows when to pick a pass or when to hold on to the ball; and he listens, which makes my job a lot easier!

"He wants to learn – so it's onwards and upwards for him as he keeps improving.

"He's been a really good asset for us in recent weeks.”

The emphasis will be on us to take the game to them at Loftus Road this weekend.

Massimo Luongo
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