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Mark Warburton admits disappointment at draw shows progress for QPR

Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – Deepdale
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Feeling disappointed with a 0-0 stalemate at Preston shows just how far QPR have progressed in the eyes of manager Mark Warburton.

Rangers’ four-match winning run came to an end thanks to the hosts’ resolute defence with neither side breaking through at Deepdale.

Preston lost 4-0 at Cardiff last time out and the subdued mood in the QPR camp following the full-time whistle spoke volumes for Warburton.

“That was a hard-earned point for us,” he said. “We came here for a midweek game against a Preston side who will have been smarting.

“They had a bad defeat at the weekend, so we knew it would be tough here.

“There was a real challenge to be met here, and I thought we did that.

“The second-half performance was much better than the first, and I was delighted with the way our wing-backs got forward.

“I think it says a lot that the lads are really disappointed back there at only coming out of this game with a point.

“This is a tough place to come, and it was an energy-sapping pitch out there.

“The lads showed terrific character throughout and stood up to the challenge.

“It’s another clean sheet for us, and that belief is still growing in the camp.”

Lyndon Dykes fluffed a terrific chance for Rangers in the first half with Daniel Iversen making a smart stop.

But Preston had the better of the play, with Sepp van den Berg seeing a well-directed header tipped over the top by Seny Dieng.

Everton loanee Anthony Gordon proved a handful all evening while Brad Potts missed big opportunities in crucial moments in the stalemate.

Given the previous defeat against Cardiff, it was a point gained for manager Alex Neil.

“It was a big improvement from Cardiff,” he said.

“That was a really difficult performance to describe, we missed two penalties and it just wasn’t to be for us.

“I thought we definitely lifted the level of performance, so I’m pleased with that.

“We were more aggressive, offensive, and at the end of it we just lacked that bit of quality you need.

“We enjoyed the bulk of the possession, but we just didn’t manage to take our opportunities when they came our way.

“We should have landed the first blow, but we didn’t. We got into some great areas, and we looked a real threat at times.

“Over the piece, I think if any team had deserved to go on and win the game, it was us.

“I’d asked the players for a more positive approach, and I got that.

“Goals are the hardest thing to add to any team, and that’s been the big difference between picking up all three points or not.”