By Nick Skoric
Massimo Luongo has a licence to kill - the opponents - now that QPR boss Hasselbaink is playing the midfielder in a more advanced role.
The Australian international played a pivotal role in the equaliser against Burton on Tuesday night that has put the squad in a confident mood ahead of the west London derby with Fulham on Saturday.
Spirits were further raised as Polter’s goal in the 1-1 draw was the R’s first goal from open play this season despite Rangers extending their winless streak to five games.
“The boys are looking forward to Saturday now,” said Luongo.
“If we can produce a performance we know we are capable of and we’ve shown glimpses of in the last two displays, we’re confident of going there and getting a positive result.”
“It is like we dropped two points against Burton and the derby on Saturday gives us the chance to take home the three points and build on the momentum from the Burton game. We created some good chances and put the Burton defence under a lot of pressure but the winning goal unfortunately didn’t come.”
The 24-year-old has been instructed by the R’s gaffer to push forward and give the Hoops’ attack an added dimension which has sorely been missing in recent QPR displays.
Luongo certainly has the attributes to boost Rangers’ arsenal however even the Aussie was amazed when he was included in the 2015 Ballon d’Or shortlist alongside the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
“The manager has given me more freedom in recent games to push up the field and affect the game in a positive way. I can only do this thanks to the hard work of my team-mates especially with Karl [Henry] and Ariel [Borysiuk] ensuring that the back line is not left exposed should the attack break down. Thanks to them I was able to set up Polter which was great and now we need to continue in the direction we are going and climb back up the table,” added Luongo.
Meanwhile, Hasselbaink has a new problem on his hands after the horrific shoulder injury to Jake Bidwell on Tuesday means the R’s are short of options for the left-back position.
Joel Lynch is the most likely to fill in on Saturday but may struggle to complete the 90 minutes due to a lack of game time this season.
The Wales international signed from Huddersfield this summer for £1.2 million but has played just one full match which was against Sunderland in the cup.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.