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We definitely feel stronger than before – Marti Cifuentes hails new QPR signings

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Feb 2024

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QPR boss Marti Cifuentes is hopeful his side’s new signings can keep the club in the Championship after they combined to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Norwich.

Swiss striker Michael Frey headed in a cross from fellow pre-deadline signing Lucas Andersen to earn the west London side a draw.

Meanwhile, loan signings Isaac Hayden and Joe Hodge impressed in midfield, giving head coach Cifuentes plenty of encouragement in the battle to avoid relegation.

The Spaniard said: “I’m very happy for the new players. I think that all of them are showing they are great professionals.

“These four players are coming from situations where we will need to take into account that they will perhaps need a couple of weeks to be at their best version, but I’m happy with them.

“The assist from Lucas to Frey was brilliant. All of them are giving good performances for us.

“They need match fitness but they’ve shown fantastic performances and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do together with the rest of the guys.

“We definitely feel like we’re stronger now than we were before.”

QPR took the lead through Jack Colback’s opener but Norwich hit back with second-half goals from Kenny McLean and Josh Sargent.

Frey’s leveller meant third-bottom Rangers closed the gap on Huddersfield, the team immediately above them, to two points.

“I can never be happy with just a point, but we played against a strong team that scored two quality goals,” said Cifuentes.

“We managed to have good moments, both in the first half and the second, and I want to praise the attitude and the mentality of the guys.

“It’s not easy to be behind at home in the situation that we are in. But we had the mental strength and capacity to keep on pushing – and after the equaliser from Frey we still tried to go for the victory.”

Norwich boss David Wagner was left to rue a miss by Ashley Barnes shortly before QPR’s equaliser.

“Performance-wise, OK. Intensity and energy, top. Result, a little bit frustrating,” said Wagner.

“But I think it’s a positive if we are frustrated at getting a point away from home against QPR in a game where we have come back from one down.

“Unfortunately we didn’t score the third one where Barnsey had a great opportunity. Then we conceded a sloppy goal, which cost us.

“Our biggest challenge today was not to get too emotional and to stay calm. I think when we did that we looked very good in possession and were able to break them down and create opportunities.

“So I’m a little bit frustrated that we haven’t won this game, because it was possible. We should be fair also and say that performance-wise this was OK.

“Unfortunately it’s only a point. I think it’s OK if there’s a little bit of frustration about only getting the point after being 1-0 down at half-time away from home.

“We should look at the performance as well. You only have positive results if you perform consistently and this is what the players have done in recent weeks.”

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