Mark Warburton is confident QPR side can go from strength to strength as they prepare for a trop to St Andrew’s to face Birmingham City.

The dispatching of high-flying Preston at Loftus Road secured a first win in eight and an elusive first clean sheet of the season for The Rs, after picking up just three points from a possible 21 beforehand.

And after a sticky spell which included a 4-0 humbling by Nottingham Forest, and 3-1 defeat to rivals Brentford, Warburton believes his side have turned a corner.

“It’s been a tough period for us,” the 57-year-old said.  “We have tried our best, have worked hard but results haven’t gone well for us. The team worked well on Saturday, we did everything we could to get the three points and the clean sheet, which is good.”

Saturday’s shutout was a first in 18 league games for goalkeeper Joe Lumley, as Eberechi Eze’s brace, including a second half-penalty, gave Rangers a crucial win to stay in touch with the playoff places.

And Warburton was delighted with the shot stopper’s display, after some testing times this season.

“The clean sheet is important because you guys [reporters] make a lot of it,” he said. “He’s come through a couple of mistakes but he showed his quality, learnt from his mistakes and stepped up and I’m so delighted for him.”

Wednesday’s trip to St Andrew’s will see QPR come up against another team that got their first win in over a month at the weekend, as Birmingham overcame Charlton 3-2.

Pep Clotet was announced as the Blues’ permanent head coach last week after a spell as caretaker manager, and he marked the occasion with victory at the Valley.

The defeat of Lee Bowyer’s side marked the first time Birmingham had scored more than twice in a match all season, with a 3-1 win over Rotherham in April the last time they notched a treble.

The two sides are locked in mid-table on 28 points going into this one, as both have suffered a recent drop-off in form after relatively strong starts to the season.

Rangers’ hopes once again lie on the mercurial Eberechi Eze, who will be looking to add to his three goals in his last two games, and as January approaches, the vultures are starting to circle around the starlet.  

After last season’s pandemonium at Loftus Road, with Nahki Wells missing a last-minute penalty to complete what would have been a miraculous recovery from 4-0 down to draw 4-4, the Rs will be looking for a tighter performance this time around.

With Saturday getting the clean sheet monkey off their back, Warburton will be confident of a midweek result in the Midlands.