Rangers boss Cifuentes gives his verdict on Sinclair Armstrong’s performance in Sheffield Wednesday loss

Marti Cifuentes revealed that he opted to start striker Sinclair Armstrong in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday to try and get the better of the aggressive pressing of Danny Rohl’s side.

Armstrong has featured exclusively as a substitute since the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City in the middle of February, but he was selected ahead of Lyndon Dykes and the injured Michael Frey at Loftus Road.

The Ireland U21 international had QPR’s only shot on target in the 90 minutes but was unable to add to the four goals he has scored this season.

“The decision to play him was because we knew they would press so aggressively,” explained Cifuentes.

“The [Wednesday] backline pressed quite high and we know with his pace in behind it is a great threat. I think we could have activated him more often.

“Overall, in a difficult game he did quite alright.

“It’s true that he has a big influence on the game. Sometimes more on the way we play than by him scoring directly. It’s more about the influence of him and knowing that we have such a big threat in behind.

“But sometimes you need to make the extra pass. Sometimes you need to attract the pressure before you can attack the depth. Otherwise, if you don’t use the width or attract the opponent it can be very difficult to surprise them.”

Rangers struggled to find their attacking rhythm in a scrappy first-half, and fell behind just before the hour mark when Isaac Hayden played a clearance against Wednesday substitute Djeidi Gassama and it deflected into the bottom corner of the net.

Lucas Andersen hit the crossbar as QPR tried to respond, before Jimmy Dunne headed over from a Chris Willock cross, but a late strike from Anthony Musaba on the break condemned them to defeat.

“The quality of the game was poor,” said Cifuentes.

“I didn’t like it. I like my team to put the ball on the ground and play but it’s very difficult because Sheffield Wednesday play in a very aggressive way, basing everything on counter-pressing.

“They base everything on trying to destroy the game of the opponent and they got the advantage. A good definition of that is the first goal they scored.

“We didn’t understand the game well and what was required, That’s why it was disappointing because we knew this kind of game would happen, particularly at Loftus Road where the dimensions [of the pitch] are smaller.

“We needed more than ever quality and braveness, and perhaps today I didn’t prepare the team well enough to understand that this was required.”


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