QPR were soft in heavy Fulham defeat says boss Warburton

Queens Park Rangers' Jimmy Dunner (right) is dejected at the final whistle following the Sky Bet Cha

Queens Park Rangers' Jimmy Dunne (right) is dejected at the final whistle following the Sky Bet Championship match at Craven Cottage - Credit: PA

Manager Mark Warburton failed to hide his disappointment at an uncharacteristically ‘soft’ QPR performance following Rangers’ 4-1 reverse at west London neighbours Fulham on Saturday.

Two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic, as well as further strikes from Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Antonee Robinson, condemned the R’s to this heavy defeat in SW6 – with Lyndon Dykes’ 55th-minute equaliser proving scant consolation ultimately.

“If I’m being honest, I thought there was a softness about us in the first half," the boss admitted.

“We didn’t do the basics well enough – the duels, the challenges. You can play all the nice football that you like, but you’ve got to do the basics well.

“We showed Fulham too much respect in the first half.

Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin (right) and Fulham's Tim Ream battle for the ball during the Sky

Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin (right) and Fulham's Tim Ream battle for the ball at Craven Cottage - Credit: PA

“That was summed up by the first goal – Mitrovic is a talented forward of course, but he had too much time to bring the ball down and finish. That cannot happen.”

Lyndon Dykes came on at half-time to replace Dominic Ball as the R's wanted to be more aggressive.

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“We wanted to be more aggressive in the second half – be more on the front foot.

“We were that at the start of the second half. Lyndon scored a very good goal, a nice finish. At that point, we were in the ascendancy.

“We needed to maximise that position and have to recognise that we can’t concede goals like the second one.

“It was three or four-v-one in the box. That can’t happen. That changed the whole dynamic of the game. Bang – we were 2-1 down, conceded a really poor third and then the fourth one deflects in.

“I just felt we had a softness to us for periods of the game today which is very unlike us.

 “In terms of goals scored, we were second behind Fulham going into the game – what we have to do is stop the poor goals conceded.

“We’ve allowed their centre-forward (Mitrovic) too much time and space to score what everyone is calling two good goals.

“We have to be tighter and more stringent. There can’t be the need to score two or three goals every game.

“It’s as simple as that. We have been good for long spells and you can be brave going forward, but you have to maintain your shape.

“At 1-1, we were in a really good position to be solid, compact and play forward – but we didn’t do that.

“We have to be better. I don’t think we earned the right to play today."

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