QPR boss Mark Warburton admits that his R’s side let themselves down on Saturday but knows that tomorrow’s (Tuesday) clash with Blackburn Rovers will give them the perfect opportunity to bounce back.
Rangers suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Fulham on Saturday, with a disappointing final 20 minutes condemning Warburton’s side to only their fourth league defeat of the campaign.
But the Super Hoops are almost instantly back in action, as they welcome Rovers to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium tomorrow evening.
“We have to get over Saturday," Warburton said. "We let ourselves down - especially in the last 20 minutes, having got level in the game it was disappointing for obvious reasons.
“We started the game slowly, we gave them too much respect, too much time, we were soft in places, and we found ourselves a goal down.
“The game in my mind is split very clearly into four stages. I think the first 25 minutes was all them, 25-45 was ourselves, I think 45-70 we dominated, but then from the 70th to 90th minutes we let ourselves down.
“To give away soft goals like that was poor - to be 1-1 and in the ascendancy to 3-1 down within 10 minutes was very disappointing.
“I’m not underestimating the importance of a west London derby, but you still only get three points for a victory - it’s the Championship and in the nature of the Championship we go again tomorrow, and we must respond.
“We can’t use the words like relentless, demanding and challenging and then just forget them. That’s what this division is, it demands from you every time you play. We were below our best, came back strongly, got ourselves level and then let ourselves down with 20 minutes to go and we paid the price at this level.”
Warburton added: “If you went through the season without an off day, you would be promoted by Christmas and everything would be perfect, but that’s not realistic. With the nature of the league you are going to have an off day, but the games come thick and fast you can’t dwell on disappointment.
“You have to analyse it and learn from it but now it’s all about recovery - we travel, play, travel, play, that’s the nature of the Championship, that’s what makes it so unique. You can’t dwell on it - you have to learn and make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. The games come thick and fast.”
Rangers welcome Blackburn to W12 tomorrow evening for the first of six games in quick succession. The R’s boss is aware of the threat that Rovers will possess.
He said: “We have Blackburn tomorrow tonight and then Peterborough on Saturday, then we have Sunderland, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff and Blackpool. These games keep coming thick and fast and we must rise to the challenges.
“Blackburn have some very good players - [Ben] Brereton Diaz, [Joe] Rothwell and [Tyrhys] Dolan to name a few and if you are below your best, you will get hurt. We have to make sure that we will deliver a good performance.
“The margins are so fine in this league. Tony (Mowbray) has had to adapt, they have lost the likes of [Bradley] Dack and [Adam] Armstrong but his teams will always be superbly organised, hardworking and will certainly pose us with some difficult questions.”
In terms of team news, Sam Field and Lee Wallace are closing in on a return, but tomorrow’s clash will see club captain Stefan Johansen ruled after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign in Saturday.
"Sam Field and Lee Wallace are close to returning to action,” Warburton said, “but they need to get some minutes under their belts, when they are out like they have been they need some B Team action to get some minutes into their legs. We had to rush Sam McCallum back but usually we have specific processes that we must follow.
“Stefan will miss out due to the booking on Saturday, so we will have to look at what we can do.”