(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Alex Beard
QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies has spoken about the frustrating lack of clean sheets for the club this season, although he insists there are positives to take from their start to the campaign.
Rangers have managed just one clean sheet in the Championship so far, in a goalless draw with Burton Albion, and Smithies knows it requires a collective effort to improve that statistic.
Ian Holloway’s men haven’t won since beating Ipswich Town at Loftus Road at the start of September, a run that’s left them without a win in five second tier outings.
And Smithies is keen to reserve those fortunes sooner rather than later: “Keeping more clean sheets is something that I personally want to do and I’m finding frustrating,” he told GetWestLondon.
“Collectively as a team we know we need to keep more clean sheets and that’s disappointing.
“But if you compare this season’s opening games with last season I’ve probably had less saves to make, which is a positive sign.
“We know we’re not far off being a good team, and if we start scoring when we’re on top we could start having some positive results.”
The 27-year-old also had kind words for his team-mates Jack Robinson and Alex Baptiste, who despite being nominal full-backs, have filled in at centre-half these past few weeks.
“I think they’ve done really well. Both of them are naturally full-backs as opposed to centre-halves, and have lined up directly in front of me,” he said.
“They both deserve a great deal of credit because I’ve been fairly quiet in games. Jack Robinson especially, coming back from such serious injuries and suffering setback after setback, he’s put in some top performances and a string of 90-minute matches which will give him some confidence.”
QPR will look to end their winless run when they travel to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.