Dowie hails Hoops defence
Iain Dowie saluted his side's defensive qualities as a 1-0 win at Carrow Road moved QPR up to fourth.
Last Updated: 18/09/08 8:37am
Iain Dowie saluted his side's defensive qualities as a 1-0 win at Carrow Road moved QPR up to fourth, while Norwich counterpart Glenn Roeder rued what was a below par display.
The visitors came away from their travels with three points despite playing for over an hour with just 10 men, following the sending off of defender Matt Connolly for two bookable offences.
Eight minutes later Dowie's men went ahead when Mark Rowlands fired home a low free kick from the edge of the box after the original effort had been blocked by the encroaching Mark Fotheringham.
From then on Rangers defended superbly and limited a disappointing Norwich side to a mere handful of chances, with keeper Radek Cerny having few difficult saves to make.
"Glenn Roeder has brought a lot of people here and changed things around and this is a very difficult place to come so it definitely is a pleasing night's work," said Dowie.
"I thought our response to going a man down was terrific.
"We got our goal and then defended superbly, while we could have easily have gone further ahead ourselves.
"It's not as if I have got to come in here and talk about a lot of Radek Cerny's saves. We restricted them to very few clear chances.
"It's a very pleasing result, much more pleasing than Sunday when we won 4-1 because this was a real backs to the wall team effort.
"All 10 men who stayed on did an excellent job, as did the substitutes. I'm delighted for the lads.
"I like the smell of the dressing room here. There are some good characters in there, some good leaders, and I thought you saw a lot of characters out there tonight."
Dowie revealed that central defender Damian Stewart had played the full 90 minutes despite having suffered a clash of heads in training the previous day.
"I went against the doctor's advice to play him, which worried me a little bit, because Damian picked up a touch of concussion after a clash of heads.
"Rather than make a quick decision I just sent him away to rest and fortunately when he got up this morning he was bright eyed and bushy tailed.
"I'm glad I went with my instinct because Damian was superb tonight as were all the back four."
The only sour note for Dowie was the dismissal of Connolly after 25 minutes.
"I thought the second yellow was a little bit harsh because the player was falling over anyway," he added.
"But what really annoyed me was hearing a cry of 'that's a red card' from the direction of the Norwich bench.
"That's not something I like to see but let's not let it detract from an excellent result for us."
Norwich manager Roeder admitted his side had been well below par on the night.
"I'm not here to make excuses, our build-up was slow, we were not creative enough and too many of our players put in below-average performances," said the Canaries boss.
"I don't necessarily think QPR did enough to deserve a win but what they did do was defend very well.
"They are a big, powerful strong team and we didn't play well enough to break them down.
"Now we've got to work hard and put things right against Sheffield United on Saturday because our fans are superb and they deserve a lot better than this."