Smithies Targets Clean Sheets
Goalkeeper Alex Smithies has said the October international break came at the right time for Queens Park Rangers, but with football returning this weekend we need to get our season really underway and as part of that he's focused on keeping more clean sheets.
Going into the game against Sunderland on Saturday, Smithies was hoping to see QPR start fresh and get back to winning ways against Simon Grayson's side.
Speaking to Get West London, the stopper explained.
'We went into the first international break having picked up a few good results and it was bad timing then, but this time it`s probably good timing because it breaks it up and allows us to assess things and gives us a clean slate to go again.'
He went on to say.
'I thought we started quite well in the early games, there were some promising signs there but we`ve had a dip in recent games, but we`ve never been battered by a team, we`ve been drawing games or losing by the odd goal, so there`s some positive signs. If we can tweak a few things we`re not far from putting together some positive results. We`ve put some half decent performances in and not got what we deserved so we are disappointed, but we`re looking to come back stronger after the international break.'
The 27 year old went on to admit his frustration at the lack of clean sheets, but he did have praise for the performances of Alex Baptiste and Jack Robinson as they stepped in as makeshift centre halves with injuries hitting.
'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. 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.'
With a run of five games without a win, Smithies ended by explaining.
'I`m happy enough. Keeping more clean sheets is something that I personally want to do and I`m finding frustrating. 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.'