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Holden hails spirit and quality

Dean Holden praised the "spirit" and the "quality" of his Robins after they recovered from an early set-back to beat QPR 2-1 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Rob Dickie’s header after 12 minutes gave the Hoops the lead before Nahki Wells equalised against his former club on 40 minutes and Ádám Nagy grabbed the winner five minutes after the break.

Head Coach Holden, who had made five changes going into the match, including the return of Tomas Kalas and a debut for Adrian Mariappa in a back four, was delighted the team bounced back from Saturday’s 3-1 reverse at Reading.

 

Holden told Robins TV: “QPR are a good team - they have some good footballers who cause you problems with their movement and we had to withstand a lot of pressure in the first half. But we got the goal back at the right time. We had to change things slightly in the second half, we came out the traps firing and it was a very good second goal."

Reading response

“We talked after the Reading defeat about how we had to respond quickly. Good teams respond and that is what we have done tonight.

“QPR have had a lot of pressure and possession around our box and it was a spirited second-half display and sometimes you have to do that to get results in the Championship.

“They had all the first half but we withstood it, we stuck in there and in the second half we have come out and put in a really solid display and I’m absolutely delighted.

“It was a really tough game and the guys have stood up to everything that was thrown at them and it was a fantastic three points.

Zak Vyner and the City defence weather the QPR first-half storm

Conceding early

“It’s disappointing when you concede an early goal, from a set-piece as well, and we needed to make sure the game didn’t get away from us. They had chances and a lot of pressure around our box and we had to make sure we didn’t concede again.

“It was then about getting in at half-time at 1-1 and making sure we could come out in the second half a little bit more solid in our structure, which we were. The way the second half started we were regaining the ball in the centre of the pitch and countering.

Nahki Wells equalises against his former club

Wells equaliser

“Bents (Dan Bentley) has made some good saves at the right time and then we have gone up the pitch and got an equaliser. Nahki is a very potent finisher and I heard him yesterday say he hasn’t scored as many as he would have liked and I could see that was in his eye before the game. The free-kick he hit at the end was a great effort as well.

“But it’s not about individuals, the engine room in the midfield and the lads at the back – everyone contributed.”

Nahki Wells cored his fifth goal of the season

O'Dowda catches the eye

“There was loads of energy, desire and quality from Callum. We know what type of player he can be and he is now starting to show that consistently. He’s getting opportunities and game time. It’s a position we feel he can really excel in. When he drives at people with the ball and going after people a bit more and some really good end product tonight.

Callum O'Dowda was in top form, crossing for both Nahki Wells and Ádám Nagy's goals

Birmingham City next

City next face Birmingham City at Ashton Gate on Saturday, December 5th (3pm KO) with the game exclusively live on Robins TV for just £10.

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