Steve McClaren blamed his side’s poor first-half showing on a new midfield partnership as Queens Park Rangers were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Reading.

With Massimo Luongo away on international duty, McClaren was forced to make changes to his team and brought Jordan Cousins in to play alongside Josh Scowen.

The QPR boss admitted that the standard of the first-half performance was not as high as he would have liked but was pleased with what he saw as the game went on.

“Josh and Jordan were fresh into the midfield working together,” McClaren told the club website.

“In the second-half Jordan and Joshy were working in tandem with one pressing and one sat, it was a lot better

“We put them under pressure and we got close to them whereas in the first-half we just sat off.

“We were losing mass in there but it was just Jordan and Josh adapting to each other and as the game went on they got stronger and stronger and gave us a platform to go on.”

QPR did have chances in front of goal but were unable to take them as defender Toni Leistner was twice denied by the crossbar.

"Reading dominated possession in the first half, we couldn't get near the ball,” McClaren added. “I was delighted to go in 0-0 at half-time.

"The boys in the second half were immense. We should have won the game in the end so we're a bit frustrated with that.

"It took a while to adjust to the changes we made, but once we did that we caused them problems and but for a great save and the crossbar we'd have won the game.

“We look forward to Aston Villa now on Tuesday. We'll need the squad - we've only got two days to recover but we'll go again."