Holloway enjoys roller-coaster return to hot seat with QPR

Date published: Saturday 19th November 2016 6:35

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Ian Holloway described his return to management as “bizarre” after QPR began his second reign as boss with a 2-1 victory against 10-man Norwich.

Holloway, back in charge following the sacking of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, was given a hero’s reception at Loftus Road.

And there was an extraordinary start to his first match back at the helm, with Norwich’s Martin Olsson sent off for a handball on the line and Tjaronn Chery missing the resulting penalty – all in the first two minutes.

Chery was then involved in both Rangers goals. Conor Washington netted following the Dutchman’s corner and Sebastian Polter made it 2-0 after being put through by Chery’s glorious pass.

Holloway said: “To get that welcome, I felt emotional. I had to steady myself in the tunnel beforehand because I didn’t want to go out there with a tear in my eye.

“Then, it was so bizarre. I’ve never seen an incident like that so early in a game and then we missed the penalty.

“After the flat line I’ve been living, what a reintroduction. I feel like I’ve been on one of those rides at Disneyworld.”

Rangers lost their way somewhat in the second half, particularly after Steven Naismith pulled a goal back with 13 minutes remaining.

“We got a lot of things wrong and I could see a lack of belief after Norwich scored. We stopped passing and using the extra man,” Holloway added.

“But I was looking for character and I know we have it. Long may that continue.

“To win games at this level you always need a bit of luck. All teams will have minutes (of pressure) no matter how many players they have on the pitch.

“Phew. We’ve got the three points and now I can show them. Because that’s what you do – you do it, you review it, and then you redo it.”

Norwich manager Alex Neil said he understood the frustration of Canaries fans following a fourth consecutive defeat, but insisted he is doing everything possible to improve results.

“The fans will be frustrated and annoyed and I understand that,” said Neil.

“My job is to win games. All I can say is that I am working extremely hard to turn things around and so are the players.

“I thought they worked extremely hard and kept going until the last minute. We did better in the second half.”

But Neil was unhappy with his team’s defending in the build-up to both Rangers goals, particularly Washington’s opener.

He said: “When you lose a man after 30 seconds all the work you’ve done and everything you’ve spoken about during the week goes out of the window.

“But we should do better for the corner. Even if you’re down to 10 men, it’s about individual battles. We lose the first header and then don’t pick up the second ball.

“You’re looking to stick to the task and not concede sloppy goals, and then as the game goes on maybe quieten the crowd.

“But once we conceded that goal it’s difficult. The two goals we conceded in the first half made it too easy for QPR.”

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