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QPR defender Conor Masterson making a big impression during loan spell with League 1 Gillingham

Manager Neil Harris was a big admirer of Conor Masterson before he had a chance to work with him at Gillingham.

Masterson signed on loan from QPR during Steve Lovell’s brief caretaker stint and the 23-year-old has become a key man in Harris’ team as the Gills have tightened up at the back.

Conor Masterson in action against his former team Cambridge Picture: Barry Goodwin
Conor Masterson in action against his former team Cambridge Picture: Barry Goodwin

The QPR defender made his debut under Harris, starting in the manager's first game after taking charge, in the wake of the defensive horror show against Oxford. From conceding seven that day, the Gills have conceded just four goals in their last seven games, including four clean sheets.

Masterson hasn’t been the only reason the Gills have kept it tight at the back, but he’s certainly helped.

“He has done really well,” commented the Gills boss.

“Conor has shown his qualities. I watched him earlier in the season play for Cambridge against Sheffield Wednesday and he was very good that night.

“When I came in (as manager of Gillingham) and found out he had signed, I was absolutely delighted to have him. He is a player I would have wanted to take.”

Masterson had made 15 starts in the league for Cambridge United in the first-half of the season but Gills’ divisional rivals opted not to extend that deal.

He signed at Priestfield under Lovell but was an unused substitute against Oxford. Having watched the debacle on the pitch, he was included straight away when Harris took over, preferring to field a three-man defence and wing-backs to give the team extra stability.

From that defensive platform, the Gills have managed to slowly turn things around. They host Bolton Wanderers this weekend with the gap to safety now down to three points.

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