QPR Suffered a third defeat in little over a week as they bowed out for the EFL Cup at home to Premiership Sunderland tonight.
However, this loss had a different feel to the Championship humiliation at home to Newcastle and Saturday’s defeat to Huddersfield as Rangers led for 10 second-half minutes thanks to Sandro’s latest cup belter on the hour- before finally succumbing to the Wearsiders.
Here’s some reflections from a night where there was much to admire in defeat.
Sunderland were no Newcastle
Eight days on from their mauling at the hands of the Magpies Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men were much more at home against their rivals from the north-east.
The 30 degree drop in temperature certainly helped as it meant the home side could play a more up-tempo pressing game which unsettled opponents lacking confidence after a rocky start in the Premier League.
Although the Black Cats had enough to edge post Hoops, they didn't have the style of the Magpies.
Former Sampdoria man Pawel Wszolek looked at home on either flank on his first start for the club.
Rangers have looked far too narrow in the absence of Ben Gladwin so to have someone who is more at home getting the white of the lines on his boots would be a major plus
Cousins in his natural habitat
The summer arrival from Charlton has spent much of his time as a square peg in a round hole, having to fill in out wide because of the lack of natural width.
Wszolek’s emergence allowed him back into more familiar territory in the centre and consequently there were glimpses of the strong surges forward which brought him to the attention of the hoops when he was with the Addicks.
Other promising auditions
Osman Kakay linked up with Wszolek down the right and didn’t look overawed playing against a Premiership outfit.
Just 19 he is surely the sort of character Director of Football Les Ferdinand has referred to when talking of the club’s need to foster its own talent.
And Matt Ingram proved he is stern competition for Alex Smithies with several excellent saves.
Any Room for the cup king?
Sandro’s sumptuous volley was his third goal in the last to rounds of the EFL, yet the man who was an Olympic silver medallist at London 2012 for Brazil does not seem to fit into manager Hasselbaink’s Championship plans.