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Don’t spoil it now warns boss McClaren

STEVE McClaren has urged his players not to waste their hard work when they take on Hull City at Loftus Road this weekend.

The R’s picked up a hard-fought point with a 2-2 draw at Stoke last weekend before coming back from behind twice at Rotherham on Tuesday night to earn the same result.

As the Tigers prepare to head to west London, McClaren has called on his squad to match the attitude of the last two fixtures and ensure this week will be deemed a successful one for QPR.

“We knew this was going to be a tough week after the international break,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.

“You saw what Stoke were capable of on Wednesday night with their win over Derby despite being down to ten men.

“I thought we were excellent in our game there and on Tuesday we had another tough one at Rotherham.

“A lot of teams may have crumbled with the way that match was going but we stayed strong and stayed in the game.”

In the closing stages against the Millers, McClaren moved to a diamond formation and brought Matt Smith off the bench to great effect, ultimately leading to Luke Freeman netting an injury-time leveller.

Having adopted a similar approach in the closing stages against the Potters, McClaren has been pleased with the effectiveness of the change in style when needed.

“We have twice now changed the system with 20 minutes to go, opened the game up and salvaged points as a result,” he said.

“That’s one of the most satisfying things of coaching.

“We spoke a lot about it a couple of months ago. We felt we weren’t able to utilise our bench enough for a Plan B, how we would use Matt Smith.

“We settled on something and worked at it on the training pitch, and I have to say John Eustace has done some great work in terms of that.

“The lads have taken it on board. We used it against Derby, and we used it again in the last two matches and it has worked for us.”

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Despite Hull’s lowly league position – they are 22nd in the table – McClaren is mindful of their recent improved form.

They have taken eight points from their last five games, which included a win over West Brom and a goalless draw with table-topping Norwich on Tuesday night.

“We said before the Rotherham game that we knew it was going to be a toughie because of the form they were in - and that’s the case again this weekend,” McClaren added.

“After two away results we need to make sure we don’t take our foot off the gas now. We have to move forward again.

“This is a test and a good challenge for the players. Can they do it? The third game in a week. It will be a totally different game but we have to have the same attitude.

“We mustn’t waste what we have done in the first two games of this week. They worked hard for those points – let’s not spoil it on Saturday.

“If our attitude is right, we will be ok. But if we are below that, then Hull are capable of winning the game.

“They can cause us problems so we need to be on it.”

McClaren has no fresh injury concerns heading into the game following that mid-week point at the New York Stadium.

This is a test and a good challenge for the players. Can they do it?

Steve McClaren
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