Cheer up – here are four positives from QPR’s latest defeat

Beaten four times in a row and down to 18th in the Championship table, just three points off the relegation zone, QPR are struggling badly and the initial feel-good factor surrounding Ian Holloway’s return has subsided.

But there were some positives to emerge from Wednesday’s home defeat against Derby, despite another poor result. 

Jordan Cousins’ best game

The midfielder has struggled for fitness and form since his arrival from Charlton in the summer, but this was his best performance by some distance.

Powerful, determined and mobile, he showed why QPR signed him before going off after straining his hamstring once again. The problem does not appear to be serious and Rangers will be looking for him to continue that momentum after a slow start to his career at Loftus Road.

Yeni Ngbakoto getting sharper

The French winger has also had a difficult start at Rangers but has played the last two games and his sharpness has been noticeably improving as a result. He is still adapting to English football but his ability and versatility could be crucial during the second half of the season. This would also ease the pressure on Tjaronn Chery to create.

Rangers look less haphazard

While continuing to show attacking intent, albeit with limited options given fitness issues affecting a number of players, Rangers were much less open this time.

Their defending could have been better for Derby’s goal, but in previous matches Rangers’ opponents were able to cut them open on the counter-attack almost unchallenged. Bar one ball over the top to Tom Ince, that was not the case against Derby, which was in part down to Cousins’ more energetic display.

From gutless to brave

On a bad run of results and in front of an edgy crowd, Rangers at least attempted to pass the ball rather than take the easy way out and resort to pumping it forward. For a club sadly associated with gutless players in recent years, bravery on the ball represents quite a change.