STEVE McClaren saw QPR lose 2-1 to Bolton at Loftus Road, and he admitted afterwards: “I thought we were ready today.
“We had a really good two weeks and had players back. Unfortunately we lost Geoff Cameron to illness shortly before the game, but I didn’t expect that.”
Bolton scored a goal in each half to take a 2-0 lead before Nahki Wells pulled one back on 81 minutes, but it wasn’t enough and McClaren added: “We started the game well and over the course of the match we had 60% possession, 33 crosses and 21 shots - but we conceded a bad goal, and the same happened in the second half, we started well, but conceded again.
“We finished strongly and created enough chances but ultimately we lost the game and that’s the biggest stat of all.”
Rangers conceded two goals for the third consecutive fixture and McClaren said: “Our defence has been our strength earlier this season, we kept clean sheets and that was the platform for all our best performances.
“That’s what we need to focus on because we are conceding too many goals, and you can’t win football matches if you concede two goals a game.
“We had a bad run at the start of the season but this is a worse run and of course it affects confidence.”
Next up for the R’s is next weekend’s trip to table-topping Norwich City, and McClaren said: “We need a performance at Norwich, and we need to show grit, fight, compactness , and be hard to beat.
“That’s what we did when we went on that run and got up to eighth, and people were talking about the playoffs.
“That was the bedrock, and we need to get that back. That takes character, it takes individuals and it takes collectiveness.”