CONOR Washington says his determination in training got him back in the side against Wolves at the weekend – and it proved a wise decision by Ian Holloway as the Northern Irishman netted the opener in QPR’s 2-1 win.
After Washington’s fourth goal of the season put Rangers ahead on 41 minutes, high-flying Wolves drew level just two minutes later.
But the R’s came again in the second half, with Matt Smith coming off the bench to net the winner nine minutes from time.
Having been on the bench for the last three fixtures, Washington made the most of his inclusion in the starting XI, and he said afterwards: “I felt like I have been sharp in training in the last few weeks and I’ve been trying to show the gaffer that I’m worthy of a place in his side.
“Luckily I got that opportunity yesterday.
“It’s quite easy to feel sorry for yourself when you’re not in the team and I’ve been guilty of that in the past.
But it’s important to show a positive reaction, get the distances up in training and look as sharp as you can.
“It’s obviously nice to score but the three points were more important than that. We really needed that and we thoroughly deserved it.”
Washington broke the deadlock with a well taken strike, but his memories of it focused more on his tumble as he raced away in celebration!
“What do I remember about the goal? Falling over afterwards!” he joked.
“Me and Mass (Luongo) are always bickering about him passing to me and not passing to me, and he thundered into a great tackle on the edge of the box, and the ball shot at me. I got across the defender and from there I managed to put it in the back of the net.”
The visitors – who had only lost twice in the league all season prior to this fixture – levelled through Leo Bonatini, and Washington admitted: “At half-time we were disappointed to be level but we had confidence we could come again and get the goal.
“We had a couple of chances – I had one which was cleared off the line after I lobbed the keeper, Freesy had a shot which hit the bar, Matt Smith had the header before his goal so we definitely had chances. They did as well but I felt we deserved the win.
“It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season for us but we always seem to do well against the teams towards the top of the division and I think the way we’re playing, the style of play, it seems to suit us more against teams who have the ball a little bit more than us.”
While it was Rangers’ first win in eight, the result means the R’s have now only lost two of their last nine matches and Washington added: “It doesn’t feel like last year where we went on the two six-in-a-row losses.
“That was a really tough time for us but it doesn’t feel like that now. It’s more a case of opportunities missed and silly goals been given away.”
With Sheffield United – the new league leaders – in W12 on Tuesday night, Washington says the players will be looking to build on the nature of the win against Wolves, adding: “We’ve got to take this confidence into the Sheffield United game.
“I watched them on Friday night against Leeds and they look a really good side. They look like they are full of goals and they’ll come here full of confidence, but we will be taking confidence of our own into the game and hopefully we’ll get another positive result.”