QPR face moment of truth in promotion race, says Richard Dunne

QPR's Ravel Morrison (left) and Will Keane are devastated after Saturday's late 1-0 defeat to Charlt

QPR's Ravel Morrison (left) and Will Keane are devastated after Saturday's late 1-0 defeat to Charlton - Credit: EMPICS Sport

QPR defender Richard Dunne believes it is do or die for the club’s automatic promotion hopes after they slumped to a third successive league defeat against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Johnnie Jackson’s injury-time winner at The Valley condemned Rangers to their seventh league defeat of the season, and Dunne admitted after the game that the recent run of results had taken its toll on the team.

“Everyone is down at the moment and rightly so as that’s three defeats in a row now,” said Dunne. “The game was sort of going nowhere and then we missed a few gilt-edged chances and thought we’d have to settle for a 0-0, so that sucker punch right at the death is really tough to take. It’s devastating really.

“We still believe we can get automatic promotion though. The last few weeks have been disappointing but there is still plenty of time to go and change this - but we need to do it quickly otherwise time will run out on us.

“We can dwell on it over the weekend but once Monday comes we have to put it to the back of our minds and prepare for the Leeds game.”

More than 3,000 Rangers fans made the trip to south-east London, only to return home disappointed after another lacklustre display, and Dunne sympathised with them after a number vented their frustration at the full-time whistle.

“I can understand the fans’ frustrations and wanting us to get the ball forward and attack, but we’ve got to find the right balance,” he said.

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“We’ve been doing that for the last few weeks and the games have been stretched and wide open, and as a result we’ve conceded a few goals at the back, something which wasn’t happening earlier in the season.

“We need to find a balance somewhere and take control of games. I think maybe we need to be a bit sharper going forward as well and create more chances. Hopefully the Leeds game will be the start of a good run for us.”

Rangers now face an uphill task in order to secure a top two place come May, lying 15 points adrift of the leaders Leicester and seven off second placed Burnley, albeit with a game in hand over both, but Dunne remains adamant Rangers can secure one of those spots.

“All we have to do now is just concentrate on ourselves for a month or two and not worry about how the other teams are doing. We still believe we can do it.

“If we start picking up points like we should be then hopefully in a month’s time we can look at the table and things will look a lot better for us than they are now,” added Dunne.

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