MATT Smith grabbed the headlines for QPR in Saturday’s thrashing of Rotherham United – but the man himself was keen to heap praise on one of his team-mates following the R’s 5-1 win at Loftus Road.
Smith opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes in W12 to set the Hoops on their way against the Millers, yet it was Grant Hall’s performance that the former Fulham man was keen to highlight in the wake of the victory.
“It was a great collective effort from all the lads, but Hally was brilliant again,” Smith told www.qpr.co.uk.
“He’s probably going under the radar a little bit, but he does such a fantastic job.
“He goes about his business superbly every game and is incredibly efficient in what he does.
“He’s extremely effective for the team and whilst he might not get the headlines or the accolades, he’s an essential piece of the puzzle for us.
“We practice that role he plays and we practice it as a team, because it requires all of us to work in a certain pattern of play.
“All credit to him, because he’s been fantastic for us.”
On a day to remember at Loftus Road, Smith got the ball rolling with a well-taken goal – his third goal in nine games for the Hoops – and after his last effort against Cardiff City went down as an own goal, he was keen to make sure no-one could take this one off him!
“No-one can take that one away from me,” he joked.
“I had a lot of time to think about what I was going to do once it dropped into my path and thankfully I finished it well into the bottom corner.
“I was happy to see it go in and it kick-started a great afternoon for us.”
Rangers flourished thereafter, in particularly in the second half, when Massimo Luongo’s first goal in a QPR shirt was met with adulation both on the pitch, in the dug-out and on the terraces.
“I was joking about Mass scoring in the physio’s room before the game!” said Smith.
“Myself and Matt May (physio) both felt it could be Mass’s day, so we both enjoyed celebrating the goal!
“It was a great header – I’d have been proud of that one myself!”
On the overall display, Smith believes the R’s are showing real signs of progress and hailed the character of the squad.
“It was a five-star performance – no pun intended!” he said.
“You could see the winning mentality and the confidence breeding in the lads.
“It was a great performance; we handled the opposition very well; and bar the top quality strike for their equaliser, we were resilient at the back, really strong in both boxes.
“I don’t think anyone can question our character at the moment.
“We’re showing mental strength in abundance, during what’s been a tough run of fixtures.
“We’ve handled ourselves extremely well.”