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Five Things: QPR v Reading

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A sunny Sunday's afternoon saw the Royals take all three points back to Berkshire with a 3-1 victory over the Fake Hoops at Loftus Road. Perhaps our best win of the season, and a key victory in our hunt for the Playoffs, here are our 5 Things from QPR.

Ben Hoskins

1. Goals from all over.

Cast your mind back to the dark days of our dreary Christmas period form, and one of the major worries at the time was that we seemed unable to fashion sufficiently good chances from open play. Before the 7-1 rout at home to Bolton Wanderers, our last goal from open play had been at home to Wigan, and we hadn't scored more than once in a game since the Forest match at the end of November. It's now not only pleasing that we're creating chances and scoring plenty of goals, but also that everyone seems to be getting in on the act. The front pairing have clicked, the central midfielders have been making dangerous runs into the box, and the centre halves have snatched goals from set pieces. And then of course, there's Garath McCleary...

2. Wingers having fun.

I'm sure it hasn't escaped your attention that Garath McCleary has found his range this season in terms of scoring screamers against the Fake Hoops. A fine drive back in November was followed up by what I'm sure is the best goal I've seen live at a match. Add that to his assist tally for the season, and it's clear that he's one of the most dangerous wingers in this division. On the other side of things, it might just be me, but Junior Hoilett always seems to have fun against our back four. On Sunday he looked to be one of Rangers' most dangerous players, playing a key part in their equaliser, not to mention a decent showing in the reverse encounter and a well taken finish in the League Cup last season.

3. A reputation can change in the blink of an eye.

Everyone must have known that Kevin Doyle was destined to score at some point at the weekend, but the celebration has split opinions. I won't go into too much detail, as we at the Tilehurst End have presented our breakdown of opinions on the subject which you can find here, but I will say that it was certainly nice to see the Irishman come over to applaud the travelling Loyal Royals at full-time, a sight we haven't seen since May 2009.

4. Turnout means points.

I wrote a piece a short while ago on away attendances in the league this season, and one thing that I mentioned was the evident benefits of a large travelling support. Up until the weekend, our biggest followings had come at Yeovil, Watford and Millwall, with the Royals taking the maximum nine points and three clean sheets in those fixtures. It's a trend that was repeated on Sunday - although we weren't able to keep the clean sheet, our biggest travelling support of the season (1300 Loyal Royals) coincided with what is probably our best away result of the season - what is clear is that, when the fans travel in numbers, they help bring the points back to Berkshire.

5. A return for Royston?

As I settled down to write this last bit, I was all ready to say how the four-match suspension of Kaspars Gorkss would give Michael Hector the much-coveted chance to shine but, as things would have it, the FA have upheld the club's appeal to rescind the red card, which you can read more about here. Instead, it looks to me that another Reading player could be soon to getting a chance in the team, Royston Drenthe. Having not played since the FA Cup to Brighton in early January, he finally lost his place in the match day squad completely last Saturday to the returning Danny Guthrie. However, I'd argue that to win his place back on the bench against QPR from Jake Taylor, someone getting more game-time than him, must mean that something is now going right for him that hadn't been going right before. He could still yet play a significant part in the rest of our season with, hopefully, a challenging Playoff campaign to look forward to.