QPR boss Mick Beale bemoaned a poor first-half showing at St Andrew’s after his high-flying side were beaten 2-0 by Birmingham.
Rangers got off to the worst possible start when Auston Trusty’s speculative back-heel from a corner sailed over Seny Dieng’s head after just four minutes, before Jake Clarke-Salter and Tyler Roberts were lost to injury.
After Birmingham’s second goal from West Ham loanee Emmanuel Longelo, which came via what looked to be foul on Leon Balogun in the build-up, skipper Stefan Johansen picked up an ankle injury as Beale was forced to use three substitutes by the start of the second half.
Although Rangers were better in the second period and missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back when Lyndon Dykes’ penalty was saved by John Ruddy, Beale admitted his side struggled against Birmingham’s physical approach in a similar to how Luton beat them earlier this month.
“I thought they fought for every second and first ball and they ran hard and made the game ugly for us,” Beale said.
“They got the early goal and that made it uphill battle but I thought we responded well and were unlucky when Tyler Roberts hit the bar, but for us tonight pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
“Obviously we have the chance through the penalty and don’t take it.
“I think the Luton game was quite similar in that we lost a centre-back (Balogun) early in the game and that is not ideal.
“But no qualms, and I don’t want go on about officials but the referee didn’t have a great game.”