RANGERS slipped to a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic.
Facing a 12-point deduction after last week being plunged into administration, the Latics – who were dominant before half-time – claimed this important win thanks to Kieffer Moore’s 33rd-minute strike.
QPR showed improvement after the break but were unable to respond, ultimately.
Ilias Chair spurned a big chance to level matters on the hour mark, as Rangers returned to west London empty-handed.
Following the 1-0 weekend win at Middlesbrough, R’s boss Mark Warburton made two changes to his starting XI for the trip to Wigan.
After a handful of recent substitute appearances, striker Aramide Oteh was handed a first start of the campaign. Chair also began the fixture.
Jordan Hugill (hamstring) missed out through injury, while Luke Amos dropped down to the bench.
Rangers once again lined up in a 5-3-2 formation: Joe Lumley; Todd Kane, Osman Kakay, Geoff Cameron Yoann Barbet (captain), Ryan Manning; Dom Ball, Ilias Chair, Ebere Eze; Bright Osayi-Samuel, Oteh.
Hosts Wigan created the better opportunities in a fast-paced opening.
Just three minutes had passed when Jamal Lowe forced a smart low block from Lumley, before Kai Naismith’s fifth-minute attempt was deflected wide.
Then, in the ninth minute, Moore’s dangerous centre only just evaded the outstretched boot of Naismith. Kieran Dowell also saw his effort deflect past the left-hand post.
Rangers had to weather an early storm and fashioned their first shot on target in the 23rd minute, as Osayi-Samuel drove straight at David Marshall from distance.
Wigan would eventually take the lead, however, edging in front in the 33rd minute.
No sooner had Barbet produced a crucial intervention to deny the hosts a clear goalscoring opportunity, Sam Morsy slipped in Moore to hammer home from 12 yards.
The Latics didn’t relent after going ahead and, all thing considered, Rangers could count themselves fortunate not to be more than a goal behind at the break.
On the stroke of half-time, Naismith’s edge-of-the-box blast forced a flying low stop by Lumley. And moments later, Moore headed straight at the R’s custodian.
Rangers used their first substitution at the interval. Amos replaced Ball ahead of the second half.
Wigan missed a fine opportunity to double their advantage six minutes into the closing period, as Moore cut past Kakay in the box before firing inches wide of the right-hand post.
Four minutes later, Kakay produced a vital block to keep out Moore once again, following a cross from the right.
Subs two and three then followed for the R’s, in the 57th minute, who introduced Jack Clarke and Olamide Shodipo for Kane and Oteh respectively.
Rangers wasted a golden opportunity to level matters on the hour.
Three minutes after his introduction, Shodipo powered past his marker down the right before cutting the ball back for Chair, who fired straight at Marshall from 10 yards.
Wigan raced straight down the other end and almost scored, too, as Lowe tricked his way past Cameron before shooting at Lumley.
QPR improved as the second half developed and threw on Faysal Bettache, for Chair, with 11 minutes of normal time remaining.
Unfortunately, though, there would be no R's comeback late on.
The home side so nearly made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute, as Danny Fox headed over a left-flank corner – and Rangers failed to really trouble their hosts right through to the end of four minutes of additional time.