QPR were held to a 2-2 draw by Birmingham City at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Saturday, leaving them 14th in the Championship.
Scott Hogan put the Blues ahead in the first half before two goals inside five minutes just after the break put QPR back in the driving seat.
Despite a number of good opportunities, the R’s were unable to extend their lead and were left kicking themselves when Hogan nodded in a late equaliser from close range.
The result means Mark Warburton’s side remain caught in mid-table mediocrity, sitting 10 points above the relegation zone but nine points adrift of the top six.
As the end of the season draws closer, there is a lot for the R’s to be positive about looking ahead, particularly, the continued development of some of their young attacking players.
Ebere Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair have all be hugely impressive this season, which hints at a bright future for the West London club.
One man that is often overshadowed by that young trio is Marc Pugh but the 32-year-old proved a key man on Saturday and provided a reminder of how useful he can be to the R’s.
We put a spotlight on his performance against the Blues to assess just how impressive he was…
With the dazzling performances that Eze, Osayi-Samuel and, to a lesser extent, Chair have put in this season, it is sometimes easy to forget that Pugh is a talented player in his own right.
This has been far from the 32-year-old’s best season in the Championship in terms of production, scoring just twice and providing three assists, and he may not be someone that keeps defenders up at night but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a useful player for Warburton to have available.
He proved that against Birmingham as he buzzed around for the R’s, constantly looking to create something for his side and causing a nuisance for the opposition defence.
He did just that in the 51st minute, popping up to smash in an equaliser from close range.
One of QPR’s big problems this season has been their inability to capitalise on opportunities, something Warburton vented about again after this weekend’s game.
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That makes Pugh’s clinical finishing against the Blues all the more important. The winger had two touches in the opposition box and took one shot–finding the back of the next and providing the R’s equaliser.
That was far from his only action of the game, however, he linked up well with his teammates and moved the ball quickly–something that was particularly important against a very structured Birmingham side.
Without the ball, he also put a lot of pressure on the opposition and made four interceptions–helping to win the ball back regularly.
What Pugh does for the side can sometimes go overlooked, particularly in comparison to some of his hugely talented teammates, but on Saturday it proved vital and he showed us just how useful he is to this side.