Luongo: QPR captaincy helping lift my game

Ahead of Australia’s winner-takes-all Intercontinental Play-off against Honduras, midfielder Massimo Luongo’s sensational run of form for QPR in the Championship will be pleasing to coach Ange Postecoglou.

And the Caltex Socceroos midfielder says becoming QPR’s skipper has been a significant factor in his purple patch of form.

After regular skipper Nedum Onouha went down with a hamstring injury, QPR boss Ian Holloway handed the 25-year-old the captain’s armband and he’s thrived with the extra responsibility.

Although he admits it didn’t sit comfortably with him immediately.

“At first it was a bit daunting,” Luongo, who had never been a skipper at any level before, told QPR’s official Loftcast podcast.

“My first proper game was Middlesbrough away and I didn’t know what type of person I could be as a captain...I didn’t want to be false.

“I have learned a lot from Nedum. He knows my strengths and he has reassured me that I didn’t have to change who I am as a player or what I do before a game.

“We have boys who will get people up...that are loud in and in your face. I’d like to be the person that when I play well the team plays well. If I can lead in that way I am happy.”

Postecoglou will be hoping Luongo can bring his club form into the clashes with Honduras, away on November 11 followed by the home tie in Sydney four days later.

Massimo Luongo on the ball during the tie against Syria.
Massimo Luongo on the ball during the tie against Syria.

With Mark Milligan suspended, Luongo is in line to come into a midfield, with Mile Jedinak also available now after missing the tie with Syria last month.

The Sydney-born playmaker will have one more club game to push his claims for a start when QPR head to Nottingham Forest on Sunday morning (AEDT).

He’ll then fly to Central America to prepare for next weekend’s first leg against Honduras in San Pedro Sula.