Steve McClaren: QPR will have to show ‘immense character’ at Portsmouth
Steve McClaren believes QPR will have to show ‘immense character and courage’ to deliver a victory over Pompey in the FA Cup.
And the Hoops boss has backed the Blues for promotion this season.
Kenny Jackett’s side are aiming to take another Championship scalp in the fourth round of the competition at Fratton Park tomorrow.
Pompey defeated high-flying Norwich 1-0 in the last stage earlier this month.
That Carrow Road victory, dovetailed with their position at the top of League One, means QPR are treating Pompey with the utmost respect.
McClaren has been impressed by the Blues this term and feels they will be in the second tier next term.
And for that reason, the Hoops boss won’t be ringing the changes against Jackett’s men.
He told QPR’s website: ‘There will be no using the squad, no tweaking this, tweaking that or resting players.
‘There won’t be anything like that. We feel we are putting out a team that can get us a result.
‘This is what I call a traditional FA Cup tie. It’ll be a full house and they’re flying the league.
‘I fully expect them to be in the Championship next season.
‘They have a great home record and after beating Norwich in the last round from what I hear they will be expecting to win this one.
‘This is going to be a really tough one for us. We will have to show immense character and courage if we are to be in the hat for the next round.’
McClaren has told his QPR troops they must avoid a dogfight and play into Pompey’s hands.
He feels the key to the Hoops earning a spot in the fifth round will be to knock the ball around on the floor.
The former England boss added: ‘We always have an eye on our opposition in terms of what they're saying and what they’re doing.
‘We hear there is a real buzz about this game in Portsmouth.
‘They feel this is a great game for them so I expect them to go hammer and tongs at it.
‘We have to go there, be professional and win our duels.
‘The key thing is to have courage to get the ball down and play. If it becomes a fight, they are very good at that.’