QPR have finished their pre-season preparations for 2019/20 with a 1-0 loss to Watford at on Saturday afternoon.
Etienne Capoue’s deflected first-half strike proved the difference between the two sides in what was a keenly contested game at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Manager Mark Warburton handed a starting debut to new frontman Jan Mlakar, while Matt Smith also came into staring line-up for the first time having struggled with a niggle in recent weeks.
QPR started very much on the front-foot and nearly had the opener after just eight minutes when Bright Osayi-Samuel glided through the Watford defence and sent an effort towards goal but the ball struck the left-hand post and trickled away across the face of Ben Foster’s line.
Watford were slowly growing into the game and had their first look at goal after 19 minutes when Troy Deeney headed towards goal from a corner but Ryan Manning was able to clear off the line.
The Hornets did find the opener however 11 minutes later when Capoue’s shot from just outside the area deflected off the leg of Yoann Barbet giving Joe Lumley no chance.
The away side began the second period looking for another as Craig Dawson got his head on the end of a corner after 49 minutes but Lumley was there to pull off a fantastic point-blank save.
Rangers were not deterred though and went agonisingly close to an equaliser minutes later when the ball dropped to Luke Amos on the edge of the six-yard box but the youngster sprayed his finish just wide of the post.
The two sides traded half-chances as Will Hughes spurned the opportunity to put his side two up but scuffed his effort off target before Olamide Shodipo’s nod-back caused chaos in the Watford box before it was cleared to safety.
QPR looked lively in the closing stages as they pushed for an equaliser, substitute Ilias Chair in particular looking dangerous in the final third, though Watford held firm to clinch victory.
Mark Warburton and co will now turn their attention to next week’s Sky Bet Championship season opener away to Stoke on Saturday afternoon.
QPR: Lumley (Kelly 83); Rangel (Leistner 70), Hall (Owen 83), Barbet, Manning; Smith (Scowen 60), Ball; Amos, Osayi-Samuel (Shodipo 60), Eze (Oteh 83); Mlakar (Chair 70).