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We need the players to stand up

STEVE McClaren believes patience will be key against Rotherham tonight and he has called on his players to “stand up to the challenge” at Loftus Road.

The Millers currently occupy the final relegation spot, sitting ten points behind QPR with ten games remaining, and the R’s chief told www.qpr.co.uk: “We need players to stand up to the challenge.

“We need people to step forward and take on the responsibility. We saw it with Luke Freeman against Leeds when we beat them a couple of weeks ago. He produced an outstanding performance that night, he took on the challenge, he stepped forward.

“That’s what we need from the players tonight, more of that.”

QPR go into the game on the back of a draw against Stoke City three days ago. The Potters were reduced to ten men after eight minutes but Rangers had to accept a share of the spoils. Reflecting on the 0-0 draw, McClaren admitted: “That was a good opportunity for us to get three points on the board so afterwards I think everyone was frustrated – the fans, the players and the staff.

“We have to accept that on the day we didn’t have enough to break them down.

“The introduction of Mide (Shodipo) and Bright (Osayi-Samuel) gave us a different type of threat which I liked, and we have to look at it as another point on the board.

“And now our focus is on adding to that this evening.”

With Rotherham battling for their Championship lives – they are one point behind 21st-placed Millwall – the importance of the fixture isn’t lost on McClaren, who added “I always say to the players that the upcoming game is the most important, and that’s the case tonight.

“We are going to have to be focused and at our best this evening. Rotherham are a very stubborn side so what will be important from us is patience – patience on the pitch, patience in the dugout and patience in the stands.”

The visitors haven’t won on the road since a League One victory at Gillingham 11 months ago, a statistic which naturally adds an air of pressure to the hosts.

“Expectation is part of football,” McClaren said, “and players have to be able to deal with that. We have shown earlier this season that we can handle that, and we need to demonstrate it again.”

Geoff Cameron is expected to feature against Rotherham after a three-month spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

The R’s were 11th and six points off the play-offs at that time, and the Rangers boss admits the Stoke loanee’s experience has been missed.

“Geoff has had a few training sessions now, not enough to start but enough to have him involved this evening,” McClaren confirmed.

“You don’t realise until a player like Geoff is out just how much you miss him, and that’s the same for Angel (Rangel) too. Angel is back training as well, so it won’t be too long before he is also available.

“But what matters tonight is that the players out there stand up.”

Grant Hall will serve a one-game suspension tonight following his late red card against Stoke while Rangel (thigh) and Matt Smith (ankle) are out.

We need people to take on the responsibility.

Steve McClaren
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