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Smith: Bring back the feel-good factor

MATT Smith wants to bring the feel-good factor back to QPR by helping the club achieve a strong finish to the campaign.

The towering striker has settled in very quickly at Loftus Road following his January arrival from Fulham, scoring four goals in nine starts.

A recent run of five wins in seven games showed the potential of the squad Ian Holloway has assembled, and Smith is keen for that form to return after three defeats in a row.

“There are elements of frustration in the dressing room,” Smith told www.qpr.co.uk on the eve of Rangers’ trip to his old stomping ground, Bristol City.

“Since I have been at the club we’ve never lost by more than one goal, so we have never been washed away by anyone. That’s obviously a good sign, but we need to be getting something from these games.

“I felt at Aston Villa we deserved at least a point, and likewise Brighton.

“We remain confident and I think we need to go into Friday’s game with the same endeavour and attitude that we have been, and hopefully our fortunes will change.”

Big Finish

With QPR ten points above the dropzone with five games remaining, their Championship status is almost guaranteed, but Smith and his team-mates have no intention of allowing the campaign to peter out.

“It’s really important we finish the season strongly because we want to have that feel-good factor around the place,” he said.

“I think we had it but after a difficult week suddenly people are getting a bit anxious. I don’t think there is any reason for us to lose sight of where we were.

“We’ve got five games to get that feel-good factor back and get that optimism back around the place going into the off-season because it’s going to be an important summer and pre-season for us.

“We want to make sure we are going into that in as good a mood as possible.”

Bristol Return

Smith will be in familiar surroundings at Ashton Gate, having enjoyed a hugely successful loan spell with the Robins two years ago when his goals helped them win League One.

“I have very fond memories,” he said. “It was during a difficult time in my career. I had moved from Leeds to Fulham with an expectation that I was going from strength to strength, but the manager not taking a big liking to me meant I was looking around for some semblance of positivity, and that’s what the loan at Bristol City provided me with.

“I was lucky enough to have three months there, I played 20 games, scored 13 goals and felt like I had a big impact. The fans took to me very well, which I think comes with scoring on a regular basis, and I really enjoyed it there.

“It got me back to where I needed to be, and I went back to Fulham and finished the season strongly. I will always be grateful to everyone there for their help during what was a difficult time in my career.”

QPR fans will be hoping Smith can add to his tally in the blue and white hoops as the R’s look to end their recent run of results. Despite City’s lowly league position – they’re currently fourth from bottom – Smith warns of a difficult test awaiting Holloway’s men.

“None of these games in the Championship are foregone conclusions,” the 27-year-old said.

“You only have to look at Bristol City’s 4-0 win over Huddersfield to understand that all the games are tough.

“It’s going to be a difficult afternoon for us but we will make sure we are well prepared for it, and will go there and give it our all.”

I don’t think there is any reason for us to lose sight of where we were.

Matt Smith