Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink praises Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Alex Smithies

Alex Smithies has become Queens Park Rangers' first choice in goal recently.

Queens Park Rangers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has told West London Sport that Alex Smithies has been ‘absolutely magnificent’ for Aston Villa since he took charge.

Hasselbaink made Smithies is number one choice in goal soon after taking over at Loftus Road, but he was left on the bench for QPR’s latest match.

Hasselbaink opted to start with Matt Ingram for Rangers’ contest with Cardiff City last weekend.

Ingram impressed in the contest, as QPR picked up a 0-0 draw, but the Dutch manager insists that Smithies remains his first choice between the sticks.

“I think very highly of Matt. He’s somebody that we believe in. But we also believe in Alex Smithies,” Hasselbaink said.

“Alex is number one and that’s how it is. We wanted to give Matt the experience of the Championship and of course that is with an eye on next year.

“But if you think I’m going to change (keepers), that’s not in my mind. In my mind at the moment, Alex Smithies is number one, but I need somebody to push him.

“Alex has been absolutely magnificent for us but in a competitive team you know you are going to need two good goalkeepers – and I have got that.”

Ingram was brought to QPR from Wycombe Wanderers during the January transfer window, and he has had to be patient while waiting for his chance.

Ingram proved his quality against Cardiff, but it is likely that he will drop back to the bench for Rangers’ match against Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday.

Smithies has been regarded as one of QPR’s most consistent performers this campaign, and he looks set to play an important role at Loftus Road over the coming years.

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