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McClaren: We need to rediscover our resilience

STEVE McClaren has urged his players to rediscover their resilience as they head to high-flying Leeds United this weekend.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side are second in the Championship and go into Saturday’s game on the back of three straight wins, while they have only lost once at home in the league this term.

“I think for most teams in the Championship going to Elland Road will represent one of their toughest tests of the season,” McClaren told www.qpr.co.uk.

“They are filling the stadium now and made a massive signing in Bielsa during the summer which raised expectations beyond the roof.

“We will need a lot of belief and a lot of courage – that’s what all teams need when you go to a place like Elland Road if you are to get a result there.”

The R’s will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing 3-2 defeat to Hull at Loftus Road, and McClaren said his side need to tighten up defensively.

“We need to get back to that resilience and organisation that we showed against the likes of Aston Villa to get clean sheets,” he added.

“We will need to defend well on Saturday but we are creating chances now. In games before we were getting 1-0s, recently it’s been 3-2s and 2-3s so we need to get the balance right.

“But the most important thing for us is we want a reaction, we want a performance. We were disappointed against Hull and, as we always say, give a reaction – and there is no better place to do that than at Elland Road.”

Defeat to Hull was only QPR’s second loss in ten outings, but McClaren and his staff have gone through the game with the players, and the R’s boss explained: “We went through it with the boys and it wasn’t us in terms of being hard to beat and doing the small, what I would call ‘nitty gritty’, things. We didn’t do them and the game was too open.

“But I still thought that, generally, we looked a good team. I thought we were very good with the ball, we created a lot of chances, but we weren’t very good without the ball – and we can’t do that at Elland Road.”

McClaren only has one injury concern ahead of the trip to Yorkshire. Grant Hall picked up a slight knock which is why he wasn’t involved against the Tigers but he may be fit in time for Saturday.

We will need a lot of belief and a lot of courage

Steve McClaren