It was been a surprisingly good Christmas for Queens Park Rangers – according to boss Steve McClaren.

And after their New Year’s Day draw with Aston Villa made it five league games unbeaten, the Rs manager hopes there is still more to come.

Luke Freeman and then Ebere Eze saw Rangers come from behind against fellow play-off hopefuls Villa and take a 2-1 lead.

Tammy Abraham’s second of the game then bagged the Villans a draw but QPR remain ninth in the Championship standings – much to McClaren’s delight after their dreadful start to the season.

McClaren said: “It was a great game of football and a great advert for the Championship, with two teams fully committed.

“I was delighted with the performance of my players. They keep surprising me and producing consistent performances, home and away.

“They worked very hard for each other to give us a platform. The two goals were excellent and I feel we deserved the result.

“We are hard to beat and we are getting better with every game. In the last five games, the lads have surprised me, showing great character and getting results.”

And while the New Year brings a transfer embargo for Rangers, McClaren is confident his side will keep up their high standards long into 2019.

“The fans are pleased because we’ve given them a good festive period and start to the new year, and we want to keep on getting better,” he added.

“That will be difficult under a transfer embargo and with key players out injured but others have stepped in and the squad has really come to the fore.

“We want to prove that we are a good team and can compete. Our away form has improved this season and we know that we can still improve.”