Smithies happy to be out in the cold

GOALKEEPER Alex Smithies was probably the only one inside the Madejski Stadium not bothered about feeling the January cold on Thursday night.

Snow fell in Berkshire prior to kick-off as temperatures plummeted around the country.

Whilst Smithies opposite number Ali Al Habsi was kept warm at the other end of the pitch it was a rare quiet night for the R’s stopper.

Not that you will hear him complaining, as QPR kept a first clean sheet in 14 matches as Ian Holloway’s side recorded a 1-0 victory.

“It was probably one of the quieter games I’ve had for QPR which is quite nice for once,” Smithies told www.qpr.co.uk.

“It’s more than welcome, I can’t remember the last time I had a clean sheet. That’s how long it has been.

“It is strange for me as that is probably the least amount of saves I’ve had to make in a game. That’s what good teams do though, they give their keepers quiet nights and thankfully our lads were excellence.

“It was surprising to be honest when you consider how well Reading have been doing. Then you see how hard the lads in front of me were working with their running and the tempo they were defending at. It made it easy for me.”

Victory against the promotion chasing Royals - a third straight Championship victory - has lifted QPR away from the danger zone and improved the atmosphere.

“It’s a very happy dressing room,” the 26-year-old continued. “After three wins on the spin in the League it’s completely lifted the place up.

“We were on a terrible run and put ourselves under a lot of pressure and that takes some grit and determination to pull yourselves out of.

“We’ve got momentum now and we want to go again against Fulham. It’s what we deserve as I felt that even though we lost six in a row we didn’t always get what we deserved.”

After three wins on the spin in the League it’s completely lifted the place up.

Alex Smithies
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