Mackie: We must learn quickly

RANGERS attacker Jamie Mackie is confident that QPR can have a good season in the Sky Bet Championship this term.

But only if they right the wrongs which mean Ian Holloway’s men are winless on the road in mid-September.

QPR have been excellent at Loftus Road, winning three and drawing the other of our four league outings in W12 thus far.

However, the Hoops’ away record doesn’t make as pretty reading – despite some positive showings.

The R’s were defeated 3-2 at promotion favourites Middlesbrough on Saturday, even after twice taking the lead through first David Wheeler and then Mackie himself.

He told www.qpr.co.uk: “Given how far we’ve come and where we’re going, frustration was the biggest feeling after the game.

“When you score two goals in a game, it should be enough. So we’ve got to learn quickly about game management and doing the right things at the right time.

“When we’re winning in games, we have to know how to see them out.

“If you’d have told me in the morning that we’d score two goals, I would have thought that we were coming away with something.”

Mackie added: “But there were also so many positives that we can take from Saturday. To know we should have got something, away to a team who should be up there, is certainly one of them.

“It’s about us doing the right things together, as a team, to win. Saturday was a steep learning curve – but one we have to learn from very quickly.

“I seriously believe that we can have a good season. And if we do learn, doing the right things at the right times in games, I really do think we can be up there.

“When the time is right, you have to be a bit more resolute. You have to look at the score sometimes and be solid – be hard to beat. You have to learn to see games out, even if there are 40 minutes left on the clock.

“It’s about not dropping too deep and, at the same time, being happy that the opposition may have more possession. It’s about saying, ‘We’re here now, we’ve got the goal – it’s time to break us down’.

“It is hard – we’ve lost key players in key positions. And characters at that, as well, people with a lot of experience. The lads who have come in have got to learn really quickly to make sure we can climb up the table.

“But, like I said, there are lots of positives. We’re certainly not feeling negative. The frustration just shows how far we’ve come.”

Rangers entertain Burton Albion at Loftus Road on Saturday, looking to extend our unbeaten home Championship run.

“We always look to win our home games,” Mackie explained. “But, to be honest, we went to Middlesbrough to win the game as well.

“I don’t think people will be saying, ‘They’re good at home but not so good away’. That doesn’t paint the picture.

“If you’ve been to the away games, you’ll have seen that there wasn’t much in them. If we carry on playing the way we have done, we’ll get points from those games, too.”

Burton beat fancied Fulham 2-1 at home in their last league outing, while Nigel Clough’s men also picked up four points against Rangers last season.

“It’s a tough, tough game for us on Saturday,” added Mackie. “Burton gave us two difficult games last season.

“We’ve got to be bang on it, but we’ve got a clear week to pick ourselves up and learn how we can win more games at this level.”

There are lots of positives. We’re certainly not feeling negative.

Jamie Mackie
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