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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear

QPR reaction: Marti on that missed handball, Stan Bowles and what WBA draw says about his team

QPR's pulsating 2-2 draw with West Brom at a packed Loftus Road offered more evidence that the R's have the foundation now to keep their heads above water in the relegation dogfight.

They finally slipped out of the bottom three with victory over Rotherham in their last home match and came within a whisker of claiming a fourth win in a row against the promotion-chasing Baggies.

Sam Field netted twice to cap a fine individual contribution, lighting up a stadium that had come to pay tribute to the legendary Stan Bowles.

But it should have been three points. The Hoops missed a host of chances, including a penalty, and had two cleared off the line. Unfortunately, the first of those was from the hand of defender Cedric Kipre and was so deft that ref Geoff Eltringham didn't spot it.

Marti Cifuentes was not about to get too worked up about that ill fortune, though, preferring to take a more light-hearted and philosophical view of the misfortune.

"Football is a game about mistakes and unfortunately the refs they can make mistakes as well. They have the second most difficult job after being a manager," QPR's head coach said.

"I feel sorry because it's not only today, I remember the crucial second goal against Sheffield Wednesday was offside, We are talking points, here, points there, but I'm not here to complain. If today we had to play against two keepers, we need to practice to play against two keepers.

"In the pitch, I thought the keeper made an amazing save - the real keeper, the first keeper. I didn't know. I was shown that after I came in.

"We need to be better than those edges, those margins. At [Leicester] we were clinical and today was the opposite. We created a lot of chances and could have scored more than two goals."

Looking at the bigger picture, it was another crucial point in the bid to beat the drop and Cifuentes had so much to be happy about, despite the loss of two points.

"Today is a day to praise the guys for 75 minutes we played, from minute one until we scored the first goal, plus the minutes after they scored their second goal," the Spaniard said.

"I think we need to believe in ourselves, be very brave in our approach, because when we did, we played perhaps the best 45 minutes I've seen since I'm manager. When we are brave, we can be really, really competitive and we'll play even better.

"If we play like we did then [in the 75 minutes] I'm sure we're going to pick up a lot of points until the end of the season. I see a progress in the team, a team that has a clear identity, a team that is brave on the ball, that tries to press as high as we can.

"The reality is that we have 39 points and need much more than this, so we need to perform at our best and need to keep pushing."

Mindful of the emotion surrounding tributes to Bowles that sparked fine backing from the fans, Cifuentes added: "I hope it was a good tribute to Stan but obviously we wanted as well not only to play good football, but as well give him the three points. Hopefully we can do that on Saturday.

"So far we have been competing well against these kind of sides [promotion candidates]. I think those guys are showing that they really want it. We respect these opponents but need to focus on ourselves. I don't care who we pick the points against."


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