Critchley defends players after another QPR defeat

QPR boss Neil Critchley defended his players after their miserable run continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to Millwall.

Rangers were top of the Championship in October but have slumped to 16th and have now gone nine matches without a win.

They have won just one of their past 16 games ​- ​and one of their 10 since Critchley took over as head coach in the wake of Michael Beale’s departure.

Critchley criticised the team’s attitude after recent losses but insisted they performed well ​in a feisty derby at Loftus Road. ​

He said: “I’ve questioned the mentality of the players after previous defeats, but not today. I felt we more than contributed to a good derby game.

“It wasn’t a lack of effort or application today. We just conceded two really poor goals and the cheap goals we gave away ha​d ​a huge bearing on the game.

“Millwall found a way to win the game and we’re not doing that at this point in time.

“We’re not in a good run of form, obviously, and I understand that questions will get asked when you lose games.

“If I think the players are showing a lack of appetite or not competing properly then I’​ll​ say it, and I’ve said it previously, but today that wasn’t the case.”

Duncan Watmore’s 31st-minute opener and Ollie Burke’s goal 12 minutes from time consigned Rangers to a sixth home league defeat of the season​.​

Chris Martin, on as a substitute for his debut, pulled a goal back with an 82nd-minute header, but Millwall held on to make it back-to-back away wins.

“I felt in the first half we were the better team up until they scored their first goal. We created the better chances,” Critchley said.

“It’s typical of the moment we’re in that they get one chance and score from it.”

QPR’s misery was compounded by another injury to Chris Willock, who went off just seven minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Willock was the team’s talisman prior to suffering successive hamstring tears and his dip in form since returning to action has been a big factor in the alarming slide down the table.

“It’s disappointing for him and us. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious,” Critchley said.