Preston North End 1-0 Queens Park Rangers Player Ratings: Brilliant Baptiste

Jordan Hugill –

Preston beat 10-man QPR 1-0 at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon, but they were made to wait a long time for Jordan Hugill’s winner. Here’s our player ratings from the game.

Preston North End

Chris Maxwell – didn’t have to work too hard for his clean sheet. QPR had just two shots, both hit straight at him from reasonable distances. 6

Darnell Fisher – although he put in a couple of good challenges and got further forward than the left-back, he wasn’t especially confident in possession. Not quite the type of right-back Preston needed against 10-men. 5
Tom Clarke – in the same challenge that Mackie was sent off for, Clarke could have been instead had he got to the ball a split second later, having gone in with both feet. Didn’t fare too badly against Washington but was taken off at half-time. 6
Paul Huntington – while he won a couple of headers and showed some decent distribution, QPR’s man disadvantage meant he wasn’t a central character to the plot. 7
Ben Davies – kept Wheeler quiet but didn’t look especially confident with the attacking side of the game and only tentatively did he enter the opposing half. The centre-back role he adopted in the second half better suited his skillset. 6

Paul Gallagher – often found himself wide right, where he struggled to find ways of using his right foot that don’t require pace. Some good deliveries though. 5
Ben Pearson – although he didn’t do badly as the deepest midfielder, his skills extend beyond firm tackling and we only saw flashes of what he can do going forward in the second half. Needed to be let off the leash a little more, especially after the red card. 6
Alan Browne – taken off at half-time, but this blog wouldn’t necessarily have held him responsible for the slow tempo in the first period. Came close twice in quick succession early on, forcing one save from Smithies before heading over from close-ranger seconds after. 7

Tom Barkhuizen – at his best, he’s a ruthless presser of defences and a runner in behind, but this type of game didn’t lend itself to his skillset. Lacked the quality of passing and decision making to open the Rs up, granted he did force Smithies into a good save with a first time volley on 48 minutes. 3
Jordan Hugill – one or two powerful runs early on but he arguably shrunk in influence for a long period after the red card, only to re-surface when it mattered. Took his winner well but it’s fair to say he’s had better all-round performances. 5
Callum Robinson – caused no end of problems for Wszolek early on but, like Hugill, saw less of the ball after the dismissal. His better moments in the second half came when he stayed wide tried to get in behind Wszolek – perhaps he should have held the width for longer. 5

Kevin O’Connor (on 45) – got forward more willingly than Davies. Preferred to combine with Robinson or Pearson to get into the final third though, rather than attack the flank directly. 6
Josh Harrop (on 45) – shifted the ball quickly and made a difference to the tempo of the game, though his lack of confidence on his left foot made it hard for Preston to change the direction of play in the final third. 5

Queens Park Rangers

Alex Smithies – made smart stops from Browne and Barkhuizen at the start of the first and second halves respectively, delivering an excellent performance in which he was unlucky to end up on the losing side. 8

Pawel Wszolek – looked petrified every time Robinson tried to take him on. In defence of the Pole, he’s a winger by trade so a game in which QPR had to play on the back-foot for 68 minutes didn’t suit him. QPR badly need a natural right-back who can do the basics of defending before anything else. 3
Alex Baptiste – absolutely outstanding. Not only did he bail out his centre-back partner on more than one occasion, he also had to do the same by cutting out crosses that an effective right-back would normally have done. Played on despite a knock in the second half and there were times where it felt like he was carrying the whole defence on his own. 9
Jack Robinson – a tad slow to close down in his own box and needed help from his partner at times, although there was a spell in the second half when he dominated. 7
Jake Bidwell – operated as more of a wide centre-back than a left-back in the second half and defended well. QPR didn’t miss his attacking influence, because his passing in a more advanced, wider position in the first half had left a lot to be desired. 6

Josh Scowen – more restrained in his positioning than his partner but had the right mentality to shake off knocks and provided the defence with good protection. 7
Massimo Luongo – put in a number tackles, although sometimes his keenness to do battle saw him lose his footing. A tad overambitious with a long-range effort on an Rs breakaway midway through the second half. 6
Ilias Chair – started on the right of a midfield three but moved to a left-sided role after the red card. One or two of his second half free-kicks hovered tantalizingly around the box but he didn’t have quite the attacking impact he might have hoped for in open play. 4

David Wheeler – won several aerial duels but didn’t offer too much quality on the ball when he did get it under control. Rarely broke beyond Davies or O’Connor, though that was largely because he had to do so much work in his defensive third. 3
Conor Washington – as always, a willing runner, but lacked the physical presence to occupy centre-backs in isolation, which might have been a factor in Holloway’s choice of substitutions. 3
Jamie Mackie – offered little when he was on the pitch and his mistimed challenge on 22 minutes saw him leave the field for an early bath, though he can count himself a tad unlucky. 2

Matt Smith (on 73) – his entrance represented a statement of intent from Ian Holloway. While QPR had a brief spell of pressure after the target man came on, he lacked the mobility to cover the extra ground. 4
Idrissa Sylla (on 90+5)