BY NICK KITUNO
John Eustace hopes Macauley Bonne can kick on at Queens Park Rangers next year as he puts a frustrating campaign behind him.
The striker came on as a late substitute during the R’s 2-0 win at Stoke City in what was his 25th appearance from the bench for them this season, which is nearly three times the number of games he has started.
Bonne, who joined QPR from Charlton the previous summer, scored 11 goals in his debut Championship campaign last season but has struggled to find the net this time around with just three.
Assistant manager Eustace, who stood in for boss Mark Warburton at Stoke after he underwent knee surgery, believes this year has been a “good learning curve” for Bonne.
Eustace said: “Macca’s attitude is different class. He played for the [under] 23s in the week, he scored a great goal, and that sums him up really. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get on that pitch.
“Obviously, the form of [Lyndon] Dykes and [Charlie] Austin has been excellent, we’ve also played a [number] 10 up there in Chrissy Willock or Ilias [Chair], so it has been a frustrating time for him, but Bonne had a really good season last year at Charlton, scoring ten or 11 goals I think it was.
“He will be frustrated this year but this year will be a really good learning curve for him, to be in this environment, and hopefully we will see the best of him next season.
Bonne has had to bide his time behind frontmen Austin and Dykes, who both combined to hand QPR the lead at Stoke on 16 minutes. Kakay added the second with 19 minutes to go with his first league goal for the R’s.
Although Dykes endured a 21-game goal drought earlier in the season, he has scored seven times in his last eight games, while Austin has six to his name since rejoining QPR on loan until the end of the season.
The 25-year-old has the backing of QPR’s coaching staff to find his feet though, with Eustace believing he has developed himself despite the tough spell.
He added: “Macca, last season, that was his first taste of the Championship. He’s been in non-league, he’s played in League Two, League One, and it’s a gradual step up for him. Again, he’s come into a group, into a team, that maybe he’s not used to playing a certain way, but you know, for me he’s developed nicely off the pitch.
“Hopefully, we’ll see a real, good Macauley Bonne next season.”
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