RYAN Manning says that a heated half-time discussion proved crucial in QPR’s comeback victory over promotion-chasing Preston North End on Saturday.
The R’s trailed 1-0 at the mid-way stage at Deepdale but turned the game around in the second period thanks to goals from skipper Grant Hall, Manning himself and Ebere Eze.
Rangers also had to contend with the dismissal of experienced midfielder Geoff Cameron with the scores at 1-1 and Irishman Manning insists that the half-time break was vital in them turning the match on its head.
“It was the old cliché of a tale of two halves,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“The first half was difficult and we had to battle quite a bit to stay in the game, which is part and parcel of football.
“We got into each other at half time and tried to give a reaction. To get the equaliser, go down to 10 men and then get the two goals showed again that we have good characters in the changing room. We’ve shown that character all season.
“It would’ve been easy for us to have come out in the second half and for the game to have got away from us. We dug in and we came out [in the second half] and started well, gained a bit of momentum and obviously Hally stepped up to get us back in it.
“It was then a case of us trying to nick the win, which we did. Preston is one of the hardest places to come in the league and take three points, so to win the game was massive for us.
“Now we want to keep up this good vein of form that we have got going at the moment, keep moving in the right direction and finish the season strongly.”
A fifth goal of the season from captain Hall drew the R’s level just after the hour mark in Lancashire.
Rangers were then reduced to 10 men when Cameron saw red for two bookable offences before a pair of stunning strikes from Manning and Eze won the day for the QPR.
Manning said: “To lose Geoff in the centre of the pitch – a massive figure for us – was tough. That shows the character that we have, though.
“We seamlessly transitioned into a different shape, adapted to it and to score two goals after going down to 10 men just shows how adaptable we all are and how good we can be when we’re all at it.”
Rangers will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches on Saturday when they host Barnsley at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
The Tykes are battling to maintain their Sky Bet Championship status but Manning knows that the challenge will be far from easy.
He said: “When you’re playing against teams that are struggling at the bottom of the table, they can be the toughest games to play. They’re scrapping for their lives, they want to stay in the division and that’s a dangerous team to play against.
“We have to prepare well this week, make sure we are at it, put our game plan together and then go out there and keep our run going.”