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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Loftus Road

Marti details the dynamics exciting young striker can bring to his QPR team



Rangers are out of the FA Cup - but not before they managed to stir home fans into hope and offer a glimpse of what might be for the team in the months ahead.


Severely depleted they may have been and they were missing several keys players like Chris Willock, Ilias Chair, Jack Colback and Steve Cook.


But the dramatic moment when Sinclair Armstrong burst from half way to open the scoring will live in the memory - and perhaps fuel belief that the season may not turn out as bleak as 2023 did as a whole.


Boss Marti Cifuentes made it clear after Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Premier League Bournemouth at Loftus Road that Armstrong could become a key figure for the Hoops if he can harness his power and reproduce that finish on a regular basis.


"He's a young player who did a fantastic first half. He has lack of concentration sometimes but he had a good game.


"I think he did really well in the first half. I think he showed his extreme capacity in the physical aspect. His pace. His capacity to win the duels. He had very, very good moments and I'm pleased for him because he's a young player that wants to develop.


"I think he's taking steps in the weeks that I've been here - understanding when to use his pace. We were joking with him when I arrived here because he got a lot of offsides, but with his pace, he doesn't need to get into offside positions that often. He can drop two metres and still recover an advantage.


"So I'm pleased about today. The moment that we used his pace, then we are different team because if the teams want to press high against us, then it gives us space to attack in behind. If they want to wait, then we are much higher up the pitch."


The downside for the R's today was yet more vulnerability at set pieces. The first two Cherries goals came from corner kicks.


"You don't need to be a genius, you just need to looks at the stats," the Spaniard said. "Since I've been here, 15 goals conceded, 10 of them set pieces. My life would be much easier without the set pieces but unfortunately they are part of the game and it has been an issue for a while.


"Only five goals conceded in open play is a fantastic stat and shows the team has good organisation and is working well and has a good balance between the way we want to attack and the way we defend."

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