Steve McClaren expects Saturday’s clash with Reading to be a lot tougher than their Boxing Day win over Ipswich.

QPR managed a comfortable 3-0 win last time out in a game that McClaren believes should have returned more goals for his side.

Now the QPR boss’ attention turns to their home game against Reading and despite being one place from the bottom of the Championship table, the difficult challenge his side might face.

“The players know they will have to be at it again on Saturday,” the former England boss told the QPR club website.

“I thought the crowd were excellent on Wednesday. They got behind us and really stayed patient. We will need that again from them because I believe this Reading game will be a lot tougher.

“Reading have got good players, they are capable of winning games and I don’t think they should be where they are.

“Reacting is what this Championship is all about. You are going to lose so it’s all about how you react and come back. You have to make sure one defeat doesn’t become two, doesn’t become three and doesn’t become a habit."

The Rs moved within two points and two places of the play-off spots with victory on Boxing Day and previous wins over Nottingham Forest and Middlesborough.

Back-to-back losses against Hull City and Leeds at the beginning of the month put a stutter in their step but three wins from three in the run up to Christmas has left McClaren’s side sitting eighth and looking up.

“It was only the Hull game where we feel we really let ourselves down. After Leeds, we knew we had three more very tough games – Middlesborough, Nottingham Forest and Ipswich – but the lads responded and got the wins.

“The Ipswich match was probably the most difficult of the three in terms of the mental challenge because we were at home and expected to win, but the players did the job.”