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QPR boss Mark Warburton rues ‘two points dropped’ despite late fightback

Reading v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – Madjeski Stadium
(Image credit: Simon Galloway)

QPR manager Mark Warburton admitted his side had “a bad day at the office” in their dramatic 3-3 Championship draw at Reading.

Rangers led through an early Michael Morrison own goal, but John Swift levelled for Reading before half-time.

Swift went on to complete his hat-trick, taking his tally for the season to six, but QPR launched a fierce late rally.

Substitute Andre Gray and, in the 91st minute, skipper Stefan Johansen both scored to stretch QPR’s unbeaten record to eight matches.

“We’ve got to say that is two points dropped,” Warburton said.

“But if that’s a bad day at the office for us – and we’re dissatisfied with that – then that says a lot about our players and how hard they have worked.

“There’s no doubt that we controlled long periods of the game, but it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t do that.

“We didn’t really look dangerous until the last 10 or 15 minutes of the game.

“We were dominating the ball but not really hurting Reading – and then we found ourselves 3-1 down.

“Everything seemed to be flying into the bottom corner of our net.

“We had to be better, we had to do the basics well. We spoke about getting crosses in their box, but we didn’t really do it until late on.

“And, even at the death, we could have won it.

“We did get beaten by a few long balls over the top and there’s no getting around that, it was poor.

“We can’t dominate large periods of the game and then be beaten by a long ball. We have to be better than that.

“We have to recognise a bit of depth and get first contact on the ball. That threat was always there from Reading and, on a couple of occasions, we didn’t deal with it very well.

“If you’re doing your job well and you’re doing the basics, you switch off for two minutes and then you’re going to get hurt. Suddenly, it was 3-1.”

Reading halted a run of three successive Championship defeats.

“The way that it happened today, obviously the result feels like a defeat,” Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said.

“On the other side, there was a big improvement in our team in attack.

“Also, to be completely frank and honest, I believe that we played against a team that is in much better form than us.

“And they had much more confidence than us. But we still managed to be 3-1 up.

“What we didn’t do well and didn’t manage properly is the result that we have.

“In the last 10 minutes, I believe that we misinterpreted the way that we had to play the game and close the match down.

“When QPR pushed forward with their full-backs higher and started to affect our back-line, we still found a couple of opportunities that we could have converted to increase our lead.

“But in those moments we didn’t do it.

“And then what usually happens is that you go back and put numbers behind the ball. That is what we tried to do.

“You have to defend your box, defend your goal. But we didn’t perform well in defence and that’s the biggest disappointment I have.”