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Gaffer: 'The reaction was outstanding'

RANGERS boss Mark Warburton was unsurprisingly beaming after seeing his side come from behind to pick up a first win at promotion-chasing Preston North End since 1980.

Victory – that took QPR to within six points of the Sky Bet Championship play-off positions – was secured thanks to goals from Grant Hall (61 minutes), Ryan Manning (78) and Ebere Eze (84).

Sixth-placed North End had been beaten at home just twice all season previously and, after seeing his 10-man R’s battle back from Daniel’s Johnson 19th-minute opener, as well as Geoff Cameron’s 67th-minute dismissal, a proud Warburton told www.qpr.co.uk: “I’m delighted.

“This is a tough place to come to – Preston are a very good team. They are where they are in the league because they deserve to be there.

“They’re hard to beat, they have physicality, they are clever and they are well-organised by Alex Neil. They’re a good outfit and we knew what we had to do.

“First half, we were as bad as we’ve been all season. Only Barnsley away comes near that, in terms of winning our duels, pressing up the pitch, taking care of the football. Everything that we do well, we didn’t do well in that first half.

“The players had a few heated words at half-time, which is good – you saw the reaction that this squad are capable of. To get the three points, to play in the manner we did in the second half – dominating a very good team with 10 men, too – deserves so much credit.”

He added: “The reaction was outstanding. We made a couple of changes at half-time. Marc Pugh and Dom Ball have been outstanding in recent weeks, and they were two of seven or eight players that we could have replaced.

“We changed our shape slightly and were on the front foot. We got first contacts on the ball, were first to second balls and won our duels.

“From one to eighteen, the whole team put in a magnificent shift. Everyone’s worked hard and prepared well all week and we’ve been able to come away with a win for our fans, who were also outstanding.

“It was a really pleasing afternoon’s work.”

The players had a few heated words at half-time, which is good – you saw the reaction that this squad are capable of.

Mark Warburton