QPR boss Mick Beale told his players to “wake up” after a 2-1 loss to bottom side Huddersfield continued their dismal recent run.
Lyndon Dykes netted after just 90 seconds but Josh Ruffels scored twice – his first goals for the Terriers – to give them their first away win of the season.
Beale’s team were recently top of the league but have lost three of their past four matches.
And in back-to-back home defeats – they were beaten 1-0 by West Brom on Saturday – all three goals conceded have been from set-pieces.
Beale said: “We didn’t deserve anything because we were told before that set-plays would be big in the game, and counter-attacks, and that we couldn’t concede in either of those moments.
“Then we concede from two set-plays – that’s five out of the last six goals conceded – and it doesn’t matter what the staff are asking the players to do if they don’t want to go and attack the ball.
“In between that we played some really good football, but Huddersfield put their bodies on the line and if I’m their manager I’m absolutely delighted in terms of their togetherness and work rate.
“This last week or so has not been good enough. It’s our sticky patch. We need to wake up.”
QPR were part of the promotion race last season under Beale’s predecessor Mark Warburton before a spectacular slide down the table – when set-pieces were also a problem.
And Beale said: “Without being too over-dramatic, from Christmas down last year the nemesis of the team was conceding goals off set-plays, so coming in it was an area we wanted to improve. Up until the last week or so, we had.
“So that’s two managers. I’m saying: ‘Who is taking control in the box out there?’
“If you warn in big bold letters that set-plays will be big and don’t defend them, then we don’t deserve anything.
“It’s strange, because we had it (the ability to defend set-pieces). Maybe there’s been a mentality change in the last few weeks.
“So maybe the World Cup break has come at a good time for all of us.”