‘Football is a game of mistakes’ – Marti Cifuentes reacts as QPR’s set-piece struggles prove costly again

Marti Cifuentes felt the goal QPR conceded to Norwich City’s Kenny McLean in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Loftus Road was not a continuation of his team’s problems defending set-pieces.

McLean drew the visitors level early in the second half when he swept home a low corner.

QPR have conceded 10 goals from set-pieces in Cifuentes’ 18 games in charge but had managed to avoid adding to that tally in the four games before the Norwich draw.

“Football is a game of mistakes, usually the team that makes less mistakes is the one who wins,” said the QPR boss.

“Today we made a small mistake. First of all, the positioning of the man who goes for the short corner. There is a good block on Ilias [Chair], who was marking the player [McLean].

“Sometimes the other team prepares well but there are some things there that we could have done better to avoid that goal.

“It has been tough for us to concede so much on set-pieces but there was an improvement today.

“We conceded a lot of corners and we defended most of them really well, and the only one we gave them something they score. Mentally it was a bit tough.”

Having made a triple substitution to help his side to victory against Blackburn last weekend, Cifuentes repeated the trick against Norwich.

He brought on new signings Lucas Andersen and Michael Frey along with Paul Smyth in the 66th minute, and the recent additions combined to rescue a late point for QPR after Josh Sargent had put Norwich ahead.

Cifuentes refused to take credit for the tactical switch though.

“When you have good players it’s easier as a manager to take decisions,” he said. “We feel we are stronger now than in December in that sense.

“Credit to the players as well for having the mindset to help – understanding the situation we are in.

“That give us possibilities as a coach to change things during the game.”


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