QPR vs Middlesbrough Preview: Ian Holloway hopes to continue his good new year form against old friend.

14th place Queens Park Rangers take on 9th place Middlesbrough at Loftus Road on Satuday, with just 8 points between the two sides. Both teams are looking for the win to get to closer to their season objectives.

QPR vs Middlesbrough Preview: Ian Holloway hopes to continue his good new year form against old friend.
Good friends Ian Holloway and Tony Pulis (both above) face off in this Saturdays fixture. (Photo: Martin Rickett / Getty Images)

After last week’s disappointing loss to Fulham, Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough are looking to bounce straight back in to the battle for one of the four Sky Bet Championship play-off spots away to Queens Park Rangers.

Ian Holloway’s side will be hoping to pounce on Boro’s misfortune last week, to pull themselves further to safety in similar way to their 3-1 away win to Burton last week.

Holloway looks to continue his side's good form.

Holloway is very happy with his team’s high morale after wins against Cardiff and Burton in the new year, saying "the atmosphere among the boys is as good as it’s been since I’ve been back here."

He added that "coming into training on Monday morning was a joy", before going on to say that his side intend to "create some more chances and let’s see if we can keep taking them."

Pulis said that "things look much brighter for us and it’s about being consistent now" with his QPR side looking to move away from the danger zone, adding that "it’ll be a tough ask against a side with a good manager in Tony Pulis."

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Pulis looks to build from unlucky performance last week

Pulis is hoping for a similar display at Loftus Road to the first half at home to Fulham last week, saying he "really thought we played very well against Fulham" before going to describe it as "one of the most disappointing feelings I’ve had after a game."

He moved on to talk about this weekend’s game and his opponents, saying "it’s always a difficult ground to go to, and I think they’re on a good run of form at the moment."

The Boro boss added "it’s a tight ground difficult place to go to, always has been always will be for me" but admitted he is hopeful "it will be a good atmosphere."

Speaking about his opposite number, Pulis said "his teams are always very competitive, so it will be a tough game" before adding that he will "have a glass of wine afterwards with him, which is the way it should be."

Team news

Rangers will be without Paul Smyth (thigh strain) and David Wheeler (ankle problem). However, ex-Middlesbrough defender Alex Baptiste is available for the game.

Pulis’ side have had problems with the flu this week, with the boss saying: "One or two of the lads have missed training, but we’ll see what they are like when we pull it all together today." Other than that, the Boro have a fully fit side to face QPR.