Marti Cifuentes confirms star 'played in pain' against Birmingham City in injury worry

The QPR midfielder played against Birmingham City but had been struggling with a knock before his sub.
Isaac HaydenIsaac Hayden
Isaac Hayden

Newcastle United loanee Isaac Hayden has been praised by QPR head coach for his desire to play for the side as he continues his loan spell at Loftus Road.

The midfielder joined the Championship strugglers at the start of February having had his loan at Standard Liege cut short after an underwhelming first half of the season. Hayden, who has been told he has no future at St James' Park despite having two years left on his contract, is slowly winning over his new side in their relegation crap.

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Hayden has featured in every league game since his move to Loftus Road and started the huge match against Birmingham City on Friday. The midfielder was substituted with the scores level before the game finished with a 2-1 win to QPR.

Explaining the sub after the match, QPR head coach Marti Cifuentes said: "He's been doing really well. He got a small shoulder issue during the week so the medical [team] had been working a lot over the last 48 hours to make sure that he could play.

"Then he picked again a bad position landing and a yellow card so we didn't want to risk him. He has been showing big character to play that game, with probably a lot of pain. The medical told me that he should be ready."

QPR went 1-0 down to the visitors but levelled just minutes later through centre-back Steve Cook. Loftus Road was then sent into delirium when Jimmy Dunne scored an injury time wondergoal to secure three points.

Isaac Hayden in action against Birmingham City.Isaac Hayden in action against Birmingham City.
Isaac Hayden in action against Birmingham City.
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Cifuentes said: "It was massive. I think it's one of the biggest achievements since I arrived. It's not easy to go in at half-time 0-0 after having three big chances. The feeling was, why are we not leading the game?

"Then in the second half, we had a big one with the volley from Chris [Willock]. We felt we should be leading the game. Bacuna is a quality player and he scored a very good goal. It was very important to react immediately. It's important to have players like Cook and Jake to get the draw and then to keep pushing [for a winner]."