Massimo Luongo is finding his feet after a slow start to the season.
Massimo Luongo is finding his feet after a slow start to the season.

Chastened Luongo back in swing of things

SOCCEROOS midfielder Massimo Luongo insists he's getting back to his best following his difficult start to the season with QPR.

Luongo admitted on the eve of the English Championship season that he was struggling to recover from the bitter disappointment of not playing a single minute at the World Cup.

But he scored his first goal of the season in his side's 2-0 win over Millwall on Thursday morning (EST).

The 26-year-old was voted QPR's player of the year last season and had fully expected to play in Russia having featured in all three of the team's final warm-up matches including a man of the match display against Colombia last March.

However, he was overlooked by coach Bert van Marwijk and for a second successive World Cup never set foot on the field.

That snub from the Dutchman also affected Luongo's form as he and Rangers started the season in wretched fashion, losing their first matches including a 7-1 humiliation at West Brom.

The west Londoners have managed to stop the rot with three wins and a draw in their last four games and Luongo produced his best display of the season against James Mererdith's Millwall.

Luongo and Meredith, another Socceroo overlooked by van Marwijk in Russia, spent several minutes chatting after the match and the Sydneysider said it was good to put a difficult three months behind him.

"I enjoyed the game," Luongo said.

"It's always good when you are two goals up pretty early ... I scored my first goal of the season against Millwall last year and managed to finish with six for the season so I want to better that.

"We've had a tough start to the season but now the confidence for all of us is booming.

"We as a team and players have to make that the benchmark and not let our standards slip."

Mile Jedinak helped Aston Villa to a first win in five in the Championship as countryman Ryan Williams' Rotherham were beaten 2-0 at Villa Park.

The Socceroos skipper has started the season playing at centre-back after John Terry's exit from the club.

Manager Steve Bruce has been under-fire from fans after the team's patchy start to the season with many questioning the decision to play Jedinak out of position.

However, the former Sunderland manager hit back at the criticism claiming the 34-year-old is the best option available to him.

"Don't tell me that Jedinak can't play centre half," Bruce said.

"I just think that for his career and us at the moment, that's the progressive thing for him. I think he'll get better. He had an outstanding few games for us last year. He's done OK and I'm sure he'll get better at it."


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