Zach Clough - We deserved more than we got

Striker offers his thoughts following Wanderers' draw with QPR at Macron Stadium

Despite notching his first goal for the Whites since December, Zach Clough was left disappointed that it wasn’t a deserved winning goal at the final whistle against QPR.

Having come close on a number of occasions, the 20-year-old eventually broke the deadlock 22 minutes from time when firing home from just outside of the box into the top corner of Alex Smithies’ goalmouth.

An effort which looked to have earned Wanderers a third consecutive league victory on home soil, they were ultimately denied in the dying embers of the clash as Matt Phillips snatched an injury time equaliser for Rangers.

And speaking to following the game, the striker admitted that having to share the spoils was difficult to take.

“It feels like a defeat for everyone really, but we can’t look at it like that,” he said. “It’s another point towards safety. It’s down to six points now which is definitely doable.

“We’re off the bottom of the table too which is a positive, to look at the table and not see ourselves rock bottom, so it’s a step in the right direction.

“I thought we played well and we definitely deserved more than we got in the end. It was just a lack of concentration and we need to do better.

“The fact that it happened so late makes it feel even more so like a defeat, but we move on.”

Returning to the starting line-up for the first time since early January having been sidelined through injury in recent weeks, Clough revealed his delight at finding himself back in the mix after a stop-start campaign for himself so far.

“It’s great to be back in the team, especially at Macron Stadium where I’ve scored all of my goals for the club so far. I do need to get myself off the mark away from home, but it was nice to get on the scoresheet today.

“I do feel sharp, but probably my overall play can improve a little still, but that will come with game time because I’m only 20 years old. There’s always improvements that you can make though.”

Reflecting upon his opportunities in the encounter – including an audacious overhead effort which flew narrowly wide of the mark - the youngster said, “With the chance in the first half, I just thought I’d have a go. 

“Wayne Rooney’s effort a couple of years ago came to mind – I have tried to do something similar a few times, but that’s definitely the best that I’ve caught it. I just always have to be careful and protect my shoulders when I’m landing.

“With my goal though, I don’t think I’ve ever scored one better than that. I don’t think I’ve ever really shot from that far out either, but it just left my boot and flew into the top corner which was a great feeling.”

With a trip to Birmingham next up for Bolton on Tuesday evening ahead of a home clash with Burnley next weekend, Clough stressed that belief and spirit amongst the squad is still high, despite an ultimately disheartening result against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men.

“We’ve got 14 cup finals between now and May though," he explained. "It’s so important that everybody stays fit while for myself, I need to put these niggles that I’ve had behind me and hopefully play in all of the games we have left to help us get out of this situation.

“There’s 42 points up for grabs – it’s still very doable and I believe that we can stay in this league.”

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