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Holloway thrilled by QPR response after being surprised by City’s set-up

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway during his side's 4-1 win over Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway during his side's 4-1 win over Norwich. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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QPR boss Ian Holloway was thrilled with the character his team showed to bounce back and beat Norwich City, after initially being caught out by Wes Hoolahan starting at Loftus Road.

The Canaries enjoyed a degree of control in the first half and took the lead when Josh Murphy forced an own goal in the 38th minute, only to disintegrate and fall to a 4-1 defeat.

“We started really well but after that we had a little problem, and we came up against Wes Hoolahan when we thought he wouldn’t be playing,” Holloway said.

“So they played two in behind the midfield and got it through which caused us a bit of a problem. We tried to get that message out there that we were a little bit sticky.

“We hit the post from a good header and funnily then their goal came from a counter because we didn’t follow it in. How it ended up in our net, I don’t know. There was good cover, good chasing, unlike last year when anyone who counter attacked against us looked like they were going to score.

“I thought our lads showed brilliant skill, composure and mentality to score when we did; a couple of one-twos and Massimo (Luongo) looked fantastic when he’s in that form.”

Luongo equalised almost immediately with a tidy finish before big striker Matt Smith played a pivotal role, embarrassing Angus Gunn with a header early in the second half before beating Christoph Zimmermann in the air to allow Ebere Eze to score, with Ryan Manning’s header sealing the win.

“If we were a boxer, we got smashed on the chin,” Rangers’ boss continued, speaking to GetWestLondon.co.uk. “The glass chin we had, we haven’t got it any more because we have come back from 1-0 down – we haven’t done that for 18 months.

“Now, we can do it. It hit us but it didn’t look like it rocked us, because we’ve got belief. Why wouldn’t you have that with the skill we’ve got on the pitch? Or the defenders we have on the pitch.

“In the end, Nedum (Onuoha) is marauding forward and everybody is loving it because we got that little distance in between us, and that’s when confidence can come.”

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