Football 1 year ago

Luongo aims to be half-dog, half-roo

  • Luongo aims to be half-dog, half-roo

    SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - MARCH 29: Massimo Luongo of the Socceroos is challenged by Yousef Ahmad Mohammad of Jordan during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification match between the Australian Socceroos and Jordan at Allianz Stadium on March 29, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Combining club and country duties is nothing new for Massimo Luongo, but the talented Socceroo is now upping the difficulty level.

The Queens Park Rangers midfielder is enjoying a strong start to his club season but in a new role.

The 23-year-old is being used by coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as a defensive midfielder as opposed to the more attacking position he's become used to with the Socceroos.

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But he's done it so well, Hasselbaink has given him a nickname.

"He calls me a little dog," Luongo said.

"He spoke to me before the first game of the season and said what he likes about me, what got me in the team last year when he came in was my hard work off the ball.

"He used the word my 'dogging', my dogging of the ball."

Luongo, who won player of the tournament in Australia's Asian Cup success last year, is OK with the chummy canine talk.

"That's fine as long as he makes it clear to me what he wants from me in a game.

"I'll do it. And I think I've been doing it pretty well."

Luongo has played every minute in QPR's Championship campaign to date, for three wins in five matches.

It's a healthy return and considering the London club is one of the better-resourced sides in the English second-tier, Luongo is satisfied with his efforts.

The next stage is bringing attacking flair within his defensive role, or a defensive element when deployed further up the pitch.

"I want to do both. I want to do everything," he said.

"What I have learned under Hasselbaink is I've got to find the right times. I can't force it.

"We're playing in a tight league, a tough league where points matter rather than performances sometimes.

"I've got to find the balance between doing what I'm known for and doing what he wants.

"Then I think it will work best for both worlds."

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