QPR 1 Leeds United 1: Pearce looking for a double dose of home comfort for Leeds

Ross McCormack celebrates his goal. (Picture: Simon Hulme)Ross McCormack celebrates his goal. (Picture: Simon Hulme)
Ross McCormack celebrates his goal. (Picture: Simon Hulme)
Jason Pearce looked ahead to two vital home games after his man-of-the-match performance helped Leeds United claim a “good point” at Queens Park Rangers.

Leeds fell eight points adrift of the Championship play-off spots after this draw at Loftus Road, but Pearce believes the result in London will be valuable if United take advantage of an overdue return to Elland Road.

Brian McDermott’s squad host Bolton Wanderers in Leeds on Saturday – their first home match for fully five weeks – and face another pivotal game against seventh-placed Reading three days later.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The fixtures are United’s opportunity to close in on the top six after Jermaine Jenas’s strike seconds before half-time denied them a win at Loftus Road.

Ross McCormack’s 24th goal of the season gave Leeds an early advantage, but Jenas replied on 45 minutes to hold United to a draw.

Pearce, whose display in the centre of defence earned him the man-of-the-match award, said: “We had a couple of really good opportunities to win the game but if you look at the whole picture it’s a good point to get. We move on.

“As I said to the guys, we need to win our home games and that’s what we’ll be looking to do. It’s been a long month with quite a lot of away performances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“You don’t stop believing, but we can’t affect what other teams are doing.

“We need to concentrate on our performances and the last couple have been good.

“We need to take that into our home games now and it’s going to be an interesting end to the season. We’re positive.”

Under-pressure Rangers manager Harry Redknapp came out fighting this week, denying suggestions his position is under threat while claiming their recent form is nothing more than a ‘blip’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, that blip was in danger of turning into a full-blown crisis when McCormack fired Leeds ahead with a deflected free-kick, just moments after he had missed a penalty.

The visitors were gifted the chance to take a 10th-minute lead when Richard Dunne’s clumsy challenge sent McCormack tumbling in the penalty area.

But McCormack’s spot-kick was a weak effort which Rob Green saved low to his left.

However, the in-form frontman made amends four minutes later, from about 10 yards further out, with a curling free-kick which clipped the Rangers wall on its way past Green.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Leeds, looking to climb into the play-off picture, could have doubled their lead but Green denied Cameron Stewart and Connor Wickham, on his debut following his loan switch from Sunderland, fired wide.

Jenas hauled QPR level when he collected Kevin Doyle’s lay-off from Ravel Morrison’s pass and dispatched it past Jack Butland.

QPR: Green, Hughes, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill, Henry, Jenas (Carroll 81), Hoilett (Keane 62), Morrison (Benayoun 85), Traore, Doyle. Unused substitutes: Yun, Murphy, Sendles-White, Maiga.

Leeds: Butland, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Kebe (Byram 90), Murphy (Brown 80), Austin, Stewart (Mowatt 70), Wickham, McCormack. Unused substitutes: Hunt, Smith, Wootton, Cairns.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Man of the match: Jason Pearce.