Mark Warburton feels he’s finally getting a first-half tune out of his slow-starting QPR as they climbed up to fifth in the Championship table with a 2-1 win at Birmingham.

Albert Adomah and Chris Willock grabbed the goals for the visitors as Warburton’s resurgent Rs leapfrogged Huddersfield and Middlesbrough to continue their promotion pursuit.

QPR have one of the league’s worst records in the opening period but have developed a reputation for finishing games strongly and battling over the line.

Adomah’s strike came after just 14 minutes at St Andrew’s and boss Warburton, 59, said: “It’s a really important victory and three points today.

“We spoke about the slow starts – I think we’re the slowest starters in the Championship and best finishers in the Championship. We had to recognise that and improve on that, and we spoke about that before the game.

“Birmingham are direct, have runners beyond, good experience, are a good team so we had to make sure we prepared well for the game.

“In the first 45 minutes, we got the goal and looked comfortable. Then there was a superb second from Chris – we should have seen the game out quite comfortably but it’s a tough venue and the boys dug deep to win.

“It was a really professional performance – they’ve got big physicality and put us under pressure, but I think the players delivered a performance and deserve enormous credit.”

QPR’s red-hot away form has fuelled their play-off push and Warburton’s high-flyers continued that trend in the Midlands on Sunday.

Adomah required under 15 minutes to fire the Rs in front as the visitors dominated the first half against Lee Bowyer’s struggling side.

They had to wait until after the hour mark to double their advantage, however, as in-form Willock curled home in style to strengthen QPR’s grasp on the contest.

Substitute Chuks Aneke pulled one back just four minutes later but the hosts were unable to grab a leveller as QPR returned to the capital with a crucial three points.

Warburton’s side will now prepare for the visit of League One Rotherham in the FA Cup third round on Saturday and the Rs chief, whose team face West Brom in their next league match on January 15, added: “We need a day off, to look after ourselves and prepare ahead of the FA Cup game.

“We need to get players in the rhythm of playing games at the same time and giving them a rest when we have that opportunity. It’s important to do well for the club, to have that perception of QPR to keep building and improving.

“It’s important for us, you want that mentality where every game is a big game. You don’t want worthless games where there is no consequence to the outcome – but it has to be one game at a time and you have to dig out results at times, come to a tough venue and find a way to win.”