Team: Smithies, Bidwell, Perch, Onuoha, Lynch, Hall, Luongo, Cousins (Shodipo), Ngbakoto, Chery (Gladwin), Washington (Polter)
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Sandro, Borysiuk, Wszolek
Attendance: 12,371 (including 1,043 Derby fans)
Thomas Ince’s late volley gave Derby a seventh successive victory as QPR fell to a fourth defeat in a row.
Tjaronn Chery forced a good early save from Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson in a quiet first-half.
Carson nearly turned provider when his long ball found Ince but the midfielder dragged his shot wide of the post. Ince made amends for his earlier miss when he showed great technique to hit a low volley into the bottom corner from Abdoul Camara’s cross.
The victory moves Steve McClaren’s men back up to fifth in the Championship table. It had looked an unlikely result for large swathes of the game as the Rams struggled to match the levels of Sunday’s 3-0 win over rivals Nottingham Forest.
However, the hosts, who are three points above the relegation zone, could not capitalise on Derby’s off day and created very little of note themselves.
Since returning to the club in November, Ian Holloway has lost four of his five games.
QPR manager Ian Holloway told BBC Radio London: “I thought it was an excellent performance apart from what’s normally really good with us, which is deliveries. We got in some really good areas and our delivery tonight was off really, particularly the corners.”
“I’m bitterly disappointed. I thought the lads showed all sorts of qualities. Not everybody was on their game, which is understandable with the run we’re in, but as a manager I saw so many different improvements all around the place that’s all I’m going to take with me.”
“I’m sorry to the fans that we’re losing at the minute, but it’s about your identity and how you are going to play and how you are going to do it and I thought that we defended from our attacks brilliantly.”
Derby manager Steve McClaren: “There’s a resilience in the team and we showed it tonight. If we keep doing that then we’ll keep getting results.”
“We’re riding the wave at the present moment and will keep on board if we possibly can. We knew this was going to be tough. We just had to fight and stay in the game.”
“It looked a draw all the way, but we got that moment and we’ve got one of those players that can get that moment in Tom Ince.”
“He’s got that defining moment in him. I’ve always found him a damn good player and he’s proving it.”
I met up with John22 in the Crown & Sceptre who kindly passed over the signed shirt he had won in a raffle in Athlone two years ago. It was destined for Freddie Hunt’s family to help them raise some much-needed funds.
So prior to kick-off I handed it on to Andy Evans to do the necessary. Great gesture John, well done mate.
As for the game, Rangers had the better chances prior to the break.
Although we deserved a point, it was the visitors who scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute when Tom Ince finished from just inside the box.