Mark Warburton bemoaned his side’s lack of quality as QPR lost 1-0 to Championship strugglers Derby County.

Colin Kazim-Richards’ strike just before the hour mark was the difference at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, as the Rs suffered defeat in the league for the first time since Boxing Day. 

Rangers struggled to create many chances on the Rams’ goal throughout the 90 minutes, with Charlie Austin coming closest for the hosts when drawing a smart stop from visiting goalkeeper Kelle Roos. 

Warburton was left to reflect on another game without a goal for his side, who have found the net just 23 times from their 25 league matches this season.

“We weren’t good – in the first half especially we were poor,” Warburton told the QPR website. “We were slow to the ball and we gave it away cheaply.

“We didn’t deserve anything from the first half, however, we knew they were vulnerable and it was important that we didn’t give them anything. We gave them an awful, sloppy goal.

“If you play poorly or below your standards, you still have to do the basics well – but we didn’t do that. We gave the ball away in a bad area [for the goal], lost a duel and they scored from the only save Seny Dieng had to make in the game.

“We gave them something to hang on to, then we lacked the quality.”

Defeat for Rangers leaves them looking over their shoulder once again at the Championship trapdoor, with third-bottom side Rotherham seven points behind with three games in hand. 

And it brings to an end a three match unbeaten league run for QPR, who saw off Cardiff and Luton in their last two fixtures, to add to a well-earned point at league leaders Norwich in their last match of 2020. 

But a lack of service to the frontline cost them dear at the weekend, with the omission of Bright Osayi-Samuel - who has since agreed a deal for an immediate switch to Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce - leaving them lacking a creative spark going forward. 

Kazim-Richards’ second-half strike made them pay for that dearth of attacking intent, as the 34-year-old tapped in after Dieng parried Kamil Jozwiak’s strike into the striker’s path. 

Wayne Rooney’s side didn’t look like surrendering the lead they built up, with Yoann Barbet’s acrobatic effort late in the game the closest the hosts came to rescuing a point, with Roos once again equal to the effort. 

Warburton was left to mull over what was a bad day at the office for his side, with the Rs needing to find a solution after another toothless performance up top. 

"We didn’t release the ball early enough and we didn’t show enough quality in the box. The likes of Lyndon Dykes and Charlie Austin in there require good service, which we didn’t give them today,” the QPR boss said. 

“Derby had 10 men behind the ball to protect their lead. I said before the game to our players that a big threat was ourselves.

“We went away to Norwich and could have got three points, then we’ve gone to Luton and Cardiff and got two good wins. We were almost expected to go and win the game.

“No – Derby are a team scrapping and we have to earn the right to win games of football. We didn’t do enough.”