Marti Cifuentes revealed that Hull’s defensive shape encouraged him to bring on striker Sinclair Armstrong in QPR’s 2-0 win against the Tigers.
Armstrong came off the bench to partner Lyndon Dykes upfront in the 67th minute at Loftus Road, with Rangers already a goal to the good thanks to Chris Willock’s first-half strike.
The move did not seem an obvious one as QPR looked to see out a third consecutive win, but the 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international played a vital role in the game’s second goal as he closed down goalkeeper Ryan Allsop before Ilias Chair slotted home.
Cifuentes explained: “Hull were playing with the two full-backs inside as inverted full-backs, and in the second half they pushed the right full-back very high and the two centre-backs are very good in possession, but we know Sinclair is very fast and explosive.
“So by defending the last line with only two men, we knew that with every turnover there was a big space for him to run in behind.
“I think that it worked quite well because he has this capacity.”
The substitution was the latest tactical switch to come off for the QPR boss, with Chair setting up two goals as a half-time substitute in the previous game against Preston and Willock finding the net after coming on in the last home match against Stoke.
Cifuentes is the first Rangers manager to pick up 11 points from his opening six league games since Don Howe in the 1989-90 season, and he has reinvigorated the club’s hopes of remaining in the Championship since arriving from Swedish club Hammarby in October.
However, he refuted the idea that he is finding the job easy, with the west London club still two points from safety in the second-tier standings.
“I am enjoying it very much,” he said when asked about how he is finding life at QPR so far. “Easy? I don’t know.
“Football itself is not difficult, it’s just about scoring more goals than the opponent, what is not easy is to change a dynamic and all credit to the players and the fans that are helping me.
“This is not a one-man job, as a club we are doing this all together and in that sense I am very pleased about the welcome from the fans and the players.
“I wanted to try English football and I am enjoying it very much and hopefully I will keep enjoying.”
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