QPR boss Marti Cifuentes remains “convinced” the club will avoid relegation despite their recent resurgence being ended by a 2-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.

Rangers, unbeaten in their previous four matches – which included a win at leaders Leicester and Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom – faded in the second half at Loftus Road, where goals from Emmanuel Latte Lath and Marcus Forss gave Boro the points.

Cifuentes’ side recently climbed out of the relegation zone, where they had been since September, but remain just one point above second-bottom Sheffield Wednesday.

“Trust me, I don’t need a defeat to have a reality check. It’s a really difficult situation,” Cifuentes said.

“I’m convinced that we’re going to manage to reach the target, but if anyone thought it was easy they were making a big mistake.

“I’m not a magician. I’m here to help. But to expect we’re going to win every game is delusional. It’s going to be tough.”

A win would have been a massive boost for Rangers in their battle to stay up but, after being the better team for much of the first half, they ran out of ideas and energy in the second.

Cifuentes admitted: “We have a sad feeling because it’s true that we had big expectations about this game and we didn’t perform – not even close to the last game.

“We had a very demanding game on Wednesday, emotionally and physically, and Middlesbrough played 60 minutes against 10 men against Norwich, so perhaps that’s one of the reasons they looked more energetic in the second half.

“It’s very demanding when you have three games in just a few days and especially when you have Leicester away and West Brom, which were very demanding.”

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick believes back-to-back wins have underlined the fighting spirit of his players.

Boro lost four out of their five matches prior to the recent upturn but are eight points away from the play-off places and still in with a slim chance of promotion.

Carrick said: “I keep saying about the spirit of the boys. It’s easy when you’re winning to say that, but when you have a tough spell – and we’ve had a couple of tough spells – you see people’s characters and their real personalities.

“The boys have been incredible in terms of sticking together and finding a way through it.

“It’s two big results for us. There’s no getting away from that. The timing of the two results has been good and we’ve got two games coming up before the international break that we need to make the most of.”

Latte Lath broke the deadlock after 64 minutes as Rangers were unable to clear a free-kick and Matt Clarke nudged the ball towards the Ivorian striker, who sent a right-footed volley past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and into the corner of the net.

Forss doubled the lead 12 minutes later following a counter-attack.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game but what mattered most was the spirit and willingness to work for each other,” said Carrick.

“I’m delighted. To find a way to grind out a win was pleasing. The boys did what they needed to do to get the win.

“It was a case of having the belief and backing themselves to go and win the game.”

Second-half goals from Emmanuel Latte Lath and Marcus Forss gave Middlesbrough a 2-0 victory at Loftus Road and ended QPR’s recent resurgence.

Latte Lath broke the deadlock on 64 minutes as Rangers were unable to clear a free-kick and Matt Clarke nudged the ball towards the Ivorian striker, who sent a right-footed volley past goalkeeper 12 Asmir Begovic and into the corner of the net.

Forss then doubled the lead 12 minutes later following a counter-attack after Rangers’ Chris Willock appeared to have been fouled near the edge of the Boro penalty area.

Jonny Howson played the ball to the right to Luke Ayling, who crossed for Forss to head home at the far post.

The defeat means QPR, who were unbeaten in their previous four matches, sit just one point above the relegation zone.

They were on the front foot for most of the first half and went close to scoring an early goal when Steve Cook’s header from Lucas Andersen’s right-wing corner struck Howson and went over.

The in-form Sam Field headed over from another Andersen corner and Ilias Chair fired wide as the hosts continued the threaten.

Boro goalkeeper Seny Dieng, playing against his former club, then pushed away a strike from Willock after some neat build-up play by Rangers.

Dieng was also able to keep out an audacious attempt by Chair to catch him off his line.

At the other end, Riley McGree blasted a shot wide of the target, but Boro offered very little before the interval.

They were better after the restart – prompting QPR boss Marti Cifuentes to make a triple substitution 10 minutes into the second half, sending on forwards Lyndon Dykes and Paul Smyth along with on-loan Newcastle midfielder Issac Hayden.

Playmaker Chair was one of those to make way and the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances after his withdrawal.

The changes initially had some effect, with Rangers showing more urgency and Dieng surviving another attempt to embarrass him – this time when Jimmy Dunne’s lob from the right-hand side landed on the top of the net.

But it was Michael Carrick’s Boro who seized the initiative and Rangers, who had started so brightly, faded badly and never looked like recovering after going behind.

Sam Field boosted QPR’s Championship survival hopes by scoring a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw against his former club West Brom on an emotional and controversial night at Loftus Road.

Field opened the scoring on night where QPR paid tribute to club great Stan Bowles, who died last month.

Promotion-chasing West Brom quickly turned the game around with two goals in three minutes from Mikey Johnston and Grady Diangana.

QPR missed one penalty before they were denied another when Cedric Kipre appeared to use his hand to stop the ball going into the net.

But Field levelled with nine minutes left to earn the hosts a draw which moved them a point clear of the bottom three.

Loftus Road held a minute’s applause for Bowles before kick-off and there was a mosaic in his honour in the stand named after him, while members of his family attended along with team-mates from the 1975-76 side who were pipped to the league title by Liverpool.

The hosts went ahead after 17 minutes. Alex Palmer spilled Ilias Chair’s shot from the edge of the box and Michael Frey went down under the goalkeeper’s challenge looking for a penalty, before Lucas Andersen retrieved the loose ball and squared it for Field to score from close range.

Rangers seemed to be in control but the tide suddenly turned, with Johnston continuing his fine form since his loan move from Celtic.

Johnston is gaining a reputation for scoring spectacular goals and he struck another after 25 minutes to haul Albion level.

He cut in from the left, past Jimmy Dunne and Paul Smyth, and sent a cracking strike beyond goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and in off the near post.

Diangana, who like Johnston scored in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Friday, then put the visitors ahead two minutes later.

Tom Fellows did superbly on the right and picked out Diangana, who took a touch to ease himself away from Andersen and then fired past Begovic.

Early in the second half, Rangers missed a penalty and should have been awarded another.

After Adam Reach blocked Andersen’s right-wing cross with his elbow, the resulting spot-kick by Frey was saved by Palmer.

A couple of minutes later, Field’s header from Dunne’s cross initially appeared to have been superbly tipped over by Palmer or cleared off the line by Kipre. Replays showed that Kipre used his hand to prevent a goal – an offence which would almost certainly have resulted in a red card as well as a penalty had it been spotted.

But Rangers went on to find their equaliser. After Chris Willock’s cross was headed back across goal by Steve Cook, Dunne headed against the bar and Field followed up to nod home.

And there was more late drama when centre-back Cook’s overhead kick was cleared off the line by ex-QPR man Darnell Furlong.

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes is preparing for a vital match against fellow strugglers Huddersfield after his side ended their winless run by beating Millwall.

A 2-0 success at Loftus Road was Rangers’ first victory in eight Sky Bet Championship matches and lifted them up a place, to third from bottom.

And it means they will climb out of the relegation zone if they beat Huddersfield – the team immediately above them – next weekend.

Cifuentes said: “We need to keep on working. Today we are very happy, but we know that we have a very important game next week here again.

“We need to be very focused on the task. The next target is to win against Huddersfield.

“Enjoy the victory today – it was very important for us – and from tomorrow start to prepare for a massive game against Huddersfield at home. Feet on the ground and keep on working.

“I’m aware that no matter what the result next week it is going to be a huge task. It’s an important game but, step by step, we need to get a lot of victories, not just next week.”

Rangers struggled to create clear-cut chances before Chair broke the deadlock in the 27th minute.

They defended well and their win was sealed by Sinclair Armstrong netting a late second.

Cifuentes added: “In all the games that we’ve played, we never gave up and I never felt – even in the worst games we played – that the team was accepting the defeat.

“We have been close in all the games since I took over. We’ve always been in games but haven’t had the clinical touch.

“Today we did, and that made things easier. You could feel the tension, London derby, but definitely the first goal gave us the calm that we needed and from there we played at a very good level.

“Today’s victory was a consequence of a lot of small things we have been doing well over the last few games but unfortunately not getting the points.”

Millwall boss Joe Edwards admitted that his team’s disappointing performance felt like a step backwards.

The Lions won three matches in a row soon after Edwards’ recent appointment but have now suffered back-to-back league defeats.

“In pretty much every department we were not good enough and that’s incredibly frustrating,” Edwards said.

“It can be really frustrating when it feels like there’s a lot of good work going on, good performances, progress and signs we’re building, and then today out of nowhere you have a performance like that.

“QPR are in a difficult position and they came out fighting, particularly in the second half, and we couldn’t match it.

“The flow of our attacks in recent weeks – we’ve been ripping through teams and today we didn’t do that.

“Today we became predictable very early on and I’m not sure why. QPR grew into the game, whereas we just got stuck in our half and played predictable football, which was absolutely not our plan.

“QPR didn’t start well and we settled quickly, but it was like that lulled us into a false sense of security. We were then unable to break into any kind of intensity.”

Goals from Ilias Chair and Sinclair Armstrong gave relegation-threatened QPR a vital 2-0 win over Millwall at Loftus Road.

It was Rangers’ first victory in eight Sky Bet Championship matches and lifted them up a place, to third from bottom.

And it means they will move level on points with Huddersfield, the team immediately above them in the table, if they beat the Terriers in another crucial game next weekend.

In a feisty London derby, both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances before Chair put Rangers ahead in the 27th minute with his third goal of the season.

Lyndon Dykes, usually a striker but currently operating in a withdrawn role, played a big part in the build-up.

Dykes controlled the ball nicely and laid it to the right to Chris Willock, who turned away from Joe Bryan and delivered a left-footed cross to the far post, where Chair bundled home from close range after getting in front of Millwall’s on-loan Arsenal youngster Brooke Norton-Cuffy.

QPR continued to threaten after the goal and Willock fired over – again after turning away from Bryan – before Dykes’ side-footed effort flashed narrowly wide.

Millwall’s first real sight of goal came a couple of minutes before half-time, when Billy Mitchell sent a first-time strike over the bar after being found by Zian Flemming’s cross from the left.

Rangers were back on the front foot after the interval, with Dykes heading wide from Willock’s cross and then testing keeper Matija Sarkic with a low shot which was well saved.

And the hosts appealed in vain for a penalty when Wes Harding blocked Dykes’ shot with his hands.

Rangers then had a let-off of their own when keeper Asmir Begovic allowed Mitchell’s shot to squirm through his legs and was rescued by Reggie Cannon’s clearance off the line.

Cannon took a heavy knock in the process and as he lay on the ground the defender appeared to be struck by a number of objects thrown from the away fans’ section of the ground.

That was the closest Millwall came to an equaliser – and there was no way back for them after Armstrong’s 85th-minute goal.

Chair teed up Jack Colback and, after Sarkic failed to hold the veteran midfielder’s left-footed shot, Armstrong was on hand to tuck away the loose ball.

Millwall, who recently won three matches in a row under new boss Joe Edwards, have now suffered back-to-back defeats.

Bournemouth produced a stunning second-half comeback to beat QPR 3-2 and reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Championship strugglers scored two goals in quick succession before the break through Sinclair Armstrong and Lyndon Dykes at Loftus Road.

But the Cherries came out after half-time firing and goals from Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and Justin Kluivert secured their seventh win in nine matches in all competitions.

QPR looked to strike early in the 10th minute. Andre Dozzell turned his man in midfield and combined with Dykes before his cross was too high for the striker to get on the end of.

The hosts continued their positive start in the 15th minute when Dykes forced Mark Travers into action.

Paul Smyth showed blistering pace to beat his marker and his cross onto the head of Dykes was denied by the acrobatic Travers, who got down quickly at his right post.

The Cherries started to warm into the tie and they went close after 21 minutes when Philip Billing’s driven shot across goal narrowly missed the target.

Bournemouth struggled up to that point but a moment of brilliance from Billing to retrieve the ball off Luis Sinisterra, dribble and get a shot off highlighted their Premier League quality.

But it was the Championship side who scored first after 40 minutes.

A searching ball forward found Armstrong with his back facing Bournemouth’s goal on halfway. The striker turned Marcos Senesi with ease and glided through on goal where he produced a placed finish into the bottom-right corner.

And straight after the restart in the 42nd minute Dykes got the goal he deserved and Rangers stormed into a 2-0 lead.

The attacker cut inside from the left and his long-range effort took a heavy deflection off Max Aarons, whose poor positioning saw the ball loop over the helpless Travers and into the net.

Bournemouth flew out of the blocks in the second half and grabbed a goal through Tavernier in the 48th minute.

Both sides scrapped for the loose ball in QPR’s box after a set-piece but it fell nicely to Tavernier, whose effort took another heavy deflection before it bounced past Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth equalised in the 58th minute through Moore.

Alex Scott’s inswinging corner was whipped into the danger zone and Moore beat Begovic in the air to nod his side back into the game from six yards.

The visitors completed the turnaround after 69 minutes through Kluivert.

Billing, who had been outstanding all game, turned the ball over in QPR’s defensive third before he picked out Kluivert at the back post.

Kluivert, son of former Barcelona and Netherlands striker Patrick Kluivert, showed how clinical he can be when he finished first time to seal victory for Bournemouth.

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes insists he is “very confident” he will lead the club away from trouble in the Championship despite their winless run continuing with a goalless draw against Bristol City at Loftus Road.

City defended well in their first match under Liam Manning following his recent arrival from Oxford as successor to Nigel Pearson.

Cifuentes can take some encouragement from his team’s display in his first home game at the helm.

But the west London side have now gone 11 matches without a win, continue to struggle to create clear-cut chances and remain one off the bottom of the table, having won only once at home in more than a year.

Cifuentes has employed a radically different style of play to the route-one tactics of his predecessor Gareth Ainsworth, who presided over six consecutive defeats prior to his recent sacking.

QPR have returned to a passing style and Cifuentes is convinced that will pay off.

Cifuentes said: “There are mixed feelings. Unfortunately we couldn’t deliver the victory. It was not the result we wanted but I am looking forward to building the togetherness I saw today. I think we can be really strong in the future.

“Despite the result, my job is to make sure that we start to win games. I do think it’s a step in the right direction.

“I see a stable team and one that is striving to have a clear identity – how they want to play from the back and have the courage to pass the ball.

“The identity of the team is starting to show. I feel we are taking steps but we have to be critical and say it hasn’t been enough to win games.

“Over time I’m very confident that this style of play can give us the results we’re looking for,” said the Spaniard.

“I do think that we have the tools inside the squad to play the football we want to and I’m very confident that this will give us the results we want.”

Meanwhile, Manning also saw reasons to feel optimistic after seeing the Robins make a solid start to his reign.

“There was some really positive stuff,” Manning said.

“We’ve worked on our shape out of possession and we saw that come out. There were a lot of positives with the out-of-possession stuff.

“We didn’t concede a shot on target, so when you look from the defensive side of it there were a lot of good things.

“In possession, we know that can improve. But we finished the stronger side in the last 20 minutes and got in some terrific areas.

“It’s been a whirlwind week but I have to give the players a huge amount of credit for how they’ve adapted to the work we’ve asked them to do.

“A pleasing aspect is the clean sheet and also the behaviours you saw – there were people there who maxed out and were running on empty at the end.

“If we want to be the best team that we can be, then that’s going to be important.”

Gareth Ainsworth insisted he can turn things around at QPR after a 4-0 defeat at home to Blackburn increased the pressure on him.

Ainsworth is determined to stay on as boss but his future looks uncertain after another dire performance.

Rangers have won just once at Loftus Road since last October and an 11th home game without a win set a new club record.

They almost went down under Ainsworth last season and are currently third from bottom in the Championship, having so far justified being one of the favourites for relegation this term.

But Ainsworth declared: “I’m a fighter and a scrapper. I’ll get this team out of this, no problem – I’ll get this team higher in the league. I’m going to work really hard to get out of this.

“For some reason it’s not clicking at the moment. I’ve got to work really hard on the training ground and I will do that.

“I believe we’ve got a better squad than when I first came. It didn’t show today, but I’m super-confident we’ll get points.

“I can stand in the mirror and know I give my best. If that’s not good enough then I’ll be told. But at the moment I intend to keep going and make myself and these players better.”

Ainsworth was a popular figure among R’s fans during a seven-year spell as a player at the club, but he has faced criticism for his direct style of play and the home crowd made their discontent clear during the game and after the final whistle.

Ainsworth said: “I understand the criticism totally. And if that criticism stays with me and away from the players, then give it to me. I can take it.

“I’ll give my all. I’ll give absolutely everything until somebody tells me not to.

“I’m really pleased with the application of some of the young players here. I think we’ve got a good future.

“But in the present, we’ve got to get points on the board, otherwise we’ll be in a relegation battle.

“That wasn’t good enough and I know it. I apologise to the fans. I’m not saying that was an acceptable performance.”

Blackburn boss Jon Dahl Tomasson said he never doubted his side despite them losing four matches in a row prior to their emphatic victory.

The Dane said: “Sometimes players can lose confidence, but they stuck to the plan.

“We’ve been playing good stuff, there have been a lot of positive things, and it’s great to have a win before the international break.

“I’m just sticking to the plan and the progress with this young team. We’ve played some great football and normally if you do the right things you will get wins.

“There’s maybe been a bit of noise, but if you keep playing you will get results.”

Arnor Sigurdsson scored twice and there were also goals for Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics in a thumping win for Rovers, who were the better team throughout.

Tomasson said: “I’m thrilled with the result and the performance. Going away in the Championship and winning is not easy. It’s a brilliant result.

“We probably didn’t play our best game today but the connection was better and we scored goals.

“We also kept QPR from getting big chances. We were solid, which was important, and the goals were great.

“Scoring the goals was important and credit to the lads – this was a deserved victory.”

Arnor Sigurdsson scored twice as Blackburn thrashed QPR 4-0 to increase the pressure on R’s boss Gareth Ainsworth.

Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics also netted in a thumping away victory for Rovers, who had lost their previous four league matches.

Ainsworth’s future as Rangers boss is in doubt after another diabolical performance at Loftus Road, where the west London side have won just once since last October and have lost five of their six home matches so far this season.

The R’s are in the bottom three, have gone six games without a win, and look both defensively vulnerable and devoid of attacking ideas.

They almost went down under Ainsworth last season and have so far fully justified being among the favourites for relegation this term.

Blackburn took control of the game by punishing woeful QPR defending to score twice in the space of four minutes midway through the first half.

The opener came on 19 minutes, when Joe Rankin-Costello drifted away from Jack Colback to collect Dilan Markanday’s pass and pull the ball back from the right for Dolan to score his first goal of the season.

Rangers were carved open again soon afterwards, with Markanday once more involved in the build-up on the right-hand side.

This time Szmodics was found by Markanday and laid the ball across to Sigurdsson, who got in front of Ziyad Larkeche to apply the finish.

Rangers had made a decent start, with Sinclair Armstrong bringing a near-post save from keeper Leopold Wahlstedt after combining with Ilias Chair, before Wahlstedt gathered Lyndon Dykes’ header from Larkeche’s right-wing corner.

After finding themselves two down, the hosts tried in vain to reduce the deficit before the interval, with Andre Dozzell seeing a shot saved by Wahlstedt shortly before crossing for Dykes, who headed wide.

Any realistic chance of a Rangers comeback evaporated when Sigurdsson struck again after 59 minutes, collecting Dolan’s pass near the left of the penalty area and curling a low shot beyond keeper Asmir Begovic and into the far corner of the net.

Andy Moran should have made it four but missed the target from close range after Begovic had parried Szmodics’ shot.

But Szmodics added the fourth in the 66th minute following an error by Larkeche.

Left-back Larkeche, operating as a makeshift right-back in place of the dropped Osman Kakay, made a mess of an attempted clearance and presented the ball straight to Szmodics, who calmly slotted past Begovic.

Lyndon Dykes’ stoppage-time goal rescued a point for QPR in a 1-1 draw with Swansea at Loftus Road.

Josh Ginnelly’s early goal looked like giving the Welsh side a first Sky Bet Championship win under boss Michael Duff.

But Scotland forward Dykes, on as a substitute, equalised by getting in front of defender Ben Cabango to head home Ilias Chair’s left-wing cross.

Swansea ended the match with 10 men after Ollie Cooper was sent off in the final seconds after a foul on Dykes earned him a second yellow card.

Dykes’ goal spared Rangers a fourth defeat of the season at home, where they have won just once since last October.

Summer signing Ginnelly, making his first league start for Swansea, netted after seven minutes.

He was helped by a mistake by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who failed to hold Jamal Lowe’s low cross from the right and the ball ricocheted off Ginnelly and into the net despite defender Osman Kakay’s attempt to prevent it crossing the line.

Swansea, beaten in their previous four matches and having lost four of their previous five in the league, defended well and always looked a threat on the counter-attack.

Rangers struggled to create clear-cut openings but striker Sinclair Armstrong missed a great chance to equalise midway through the first half.

An unchallenged Armstrong collected Andre Dozzell’s pass and, seemingly believing he was offside, turned and scooped a shot woefully high and wide before discovering he was being played onside by Swansea’s on-loan Chelsea youngster Bashir Humphreys.

Rangers made a determined start to the second half and the lively Paul Smyth did well on the right and crossed for Chair, who headed wide.

Dykes, fit again after a recent knee injury, was sent on by R’s boss Gareth Ainsworth on the hour as the hosts continued to search for an equaliser.

Swansea might have added a second had Jerry Yates connected properly with a scuffed shot which was easily gathered by Begovic.

Swans midfielder Matt Grimes fired wide as the visitors again looked to hit Rangers with a sucker punch, and at the other end Chair missed the target with a similarly wayward effort from long range.

In the closing stages, Dykes poked a shot wide from near the edge of the penalty area and Chair saw a low strike deflected wide, but Ainsworth’s team were eventually rewarded for their persistence.

Former Reggae Boyz head coach Paul Hall has been appointed interim manager of English Championship side Queens Park Rangers. Hall is stepping into the role following the departure of Michael Beale, who is taking the head coaching position of Scottish club Glasgow Rangers.

Prior to his appointment, Hall was the B-team manager at Loftus Road where he had spent more than a decade coaching from the U14 to U23 levels. He assumed the new role on Tuesday after Beale’s surprise exit on Monday after only six months on the job.

His first match, a friendly against Scottish Premier League side Livingston, saw QPR winning 2-1 in a behind closed doors encounter.

“It is really important I get this job right, the club is the most important thing here,” Hall told English media. “I’ve been here 10 years and seen a lot of managers come and go. But my focus now is just for us is to attack Burnley.”

QPR play Burnley on December 11.

“We need everyone to focus on it, not just the staff but the supporters too, because although these players are resilient, they need everyone to get behind this team as they have got what it takes.”

Hall represented the Jamaican national side in 48 matches between 1997 and 2003 scoring 14 goals. He was recently in charge as interim head coach during the latter stages of the Reggae Boyz failed World Cup campaign before he was replaced by Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrimmson.




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