IAN Holloway has called on his QPR side to build their confidence following the international break.
Despite playing well in recent weeks, the R’s have only managed to pick up six points from their last seven fixtures.
On the eve of our clash with second-from-bottom Sunderland, Holloway admitted to www.qpr.co.uk: “It has been a very frustrating time.
“We are all disappointed with our recent points tally and feel pretty aggrieved that we haven’t taken more of the opportunities we have made.
“I have had phonecall after phonecall from people who know the game who said how well we played against Fulham. But that doesn’t make me feel any better to be honest!”
QPR will be looking to register their first win on the road this season when they make the trip to the north-east, and Holloway said: “We have got to get about our business – we need to get more points on the road.
“We have manged two from five games so far and that’s pretty criminal considering how we have played, but we can’t blame anyone else. It’s down to us.
“We have got ourselves in front in a lot of those games – Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff, Middlesbrough – but we haven’t shut the games down.
“We are looking at doing something else this weekend, a slight tweak. I believe it will work.
“What we have to do is build confidence.”
Holloway also wants to see his side make more of the numerous chances they have been creating in games with their front-foot approach, adding:
“When you miss the chances you’re creating, it puts a lot more pressure on your backline.
“Everyone needs to work on their finishing - even our goalkeeper went forward and headed wide! So I’ve spoken to the lot of them about taking their chances in front of goal.
“In all seriousness, the midfield need to add a few goals. When you haven’t got a 20-goal-a-season striker, you’ve got to spread them around the team.
“At the minute we’re getting in but not taking our chances. I’m sure that will come.”
A number of Holloway’s men were away on international duty during the last fortnight, and the R’s boss admits that has had an impact on preparation for Saturday’s trip to the Stadium of Light.
“We only got our international lads back on Thursday so we’ve really only had one day to prepare for this game which isn’t ideal but we have to get on with it,” he said.
Following relegation from the Premier League last season, the Black Cats have found life in the Championship hard.
After a reasonable start, they have picked up just two points from their last eight fixtures which leaves them languishing in the relegation zone.
In front of their own fans, they have collected one point from a possible 15.
“Sunderland have been struggling at home but we know it is still a tough place to go to,” Holloway said.
“Simon Grayson is a fantastic manager, always very combative.
“But what we need to do is go there and assert ourselves and feel confident about what we can do.”
Players involved in international duty, such as Massimo Luongo, Ryan Manning, Conor Washington, Pawel Wszolek and Idrissa Sylla, have returned unscathed and are available for selection.
Hall, Caulker, Nedum Onuoha and James Perch remain out.