Harry Redknapp said his decision to substitute Djibril Cisse at half-time against Liverpool was about “damage limitation” because QPR were already 3-0 down.
Rangers boss Redknapp replaced the striker with Shaun Derry, who helped prevent the visitors adding to their goal tally after the break.
“Did you think we were going to win 4-3? Nor did I,” said Redknapp.
“You have to be realistic in football. Do you want to get beaten 8-0 or are you going to come out, keep a bit of pride intact and work hard in the second half?
“Damage limitation it’s called. It’s not a nice situation, but that was the situation I was in and it’s what I had to do.
“I had to change how we played and try to shut up shop. Maybe I should have done that from the start.
“You look at it at 3-0 and think ‘hang on, it’s going to be seven or eight here if we’re not careful’.”
But Redknapp did hint at problems involving the unsettled Cisse, who was ineffective once again and may well leave during the transfer window.
Redknapp said: “I know what the problems are but I don’t want to say publicly with one or two.
“You have to have everybody who works as a team if you’re going to get out of trouble. You only need one or two who don’t buy into that, or can’t do that, and you have a problem.
“Second half, we worked much harder. We pushed Jamie Mackie up front and he worked hard. We put people under pressure and worked harder.”