QPR boss Mark Warburton hailed a ‘really important win’ for his side as they edged past Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Sunday.

The R’s came into the fixture having lost three matches on the bounce and, placed perilously just six points above the Championship drop zone, in danger of being dragged into a relegation fight.

But, Jordan Hugill’s superb first-half lob – with his final kick of the game – saw Warburton’s men to their first points since the restart to ease fears that the London side may fall into the third tier for the first time in 16 years.

“This was a really important win – it’s a big three points and now we move onto Wigan,” Warburton said.

“There’s nothing quite like a long journey home when you’ve won away. It’s a great feeling and it’s good for the players.

“There has been no lack of desire, or passion, from the squad – we have a young team who are learning.

Hugill’s winner was the standout moment of quality from the game as the striker lifted the ball over Boro goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic to brilliantly score from 25 yards out.

But it would prove to be a bittersweet moment as Hugill immediately fell to the ground clutching his hamstring before limping off the pitch.

The hosts threatened to earn a vital point in their own quest for survival in the second half but QPR managed to weather the storm, Lukas Nmecha putting Boro’s best chance over the bar at the death, with the visitors’ resoluteness impressing their manager.

He added: “No doubt we let ourselves down in the first two games, but I thought we deserved at least a point against Fulham in midweek. That’s football.

“This is a tough place to come to – Middlesbrough are scrapping, obviously, they’re fighting for points and have a very talented squad.

“It was a good first half performance from us, having got the goal. We dominated and we should have got more than one before half-time. Overall, though, it was a really pleasing day.

“The players had to dig in, especially at the end – Middlesbrough brought on some quality players, some physical players.

“The whole squad, to a man, had a job to do today and they’ve done that job. They deserve enormous credit.

“Jordan [Hugill] missed a big chance just before his goal, but that was a tremendous finish.

“Unfortunately, he tweaked his hamstring – hopefully it’s not too serious.”