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The Hoops boss conceded Rovers were 'more physical' as they raced to a 3-0 lead, leaving his side teetering above the relegation zone despite their comeback effort

Mark Hughes ordered his QPR side to toughen up after going down 3-2 away to relegation rivals Blackburn in a defeat which leaves them above the drop-zone on goal difference alone.

The newly appointed former Wales manager has tasted victory just once in the league since taking over four weeks ago, losing his last two against relegation rivals.

QPR conceded three goals in the first half on Satuday, and Hughes told the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle: “We were very poor for the first 45 minutes, the worst we have been since I have been here, and perhaps even the worst any team has ever been under me.

In contrast, Rovers midfielder Steven N’Zonzi impressed with his athleticism in the centre of the pitch, setting up the first goal with a flick on to Yakubu and scoring the second after a powerful run helped launch the attack.

Hughes admitted: “They were more physical than us, like we need to be. We were too passive, and that's something we have to work on.

“You can't gift any team in the Premier League a three-goal start, you have to have a solid base and give yourself a platform to build on.

Towards the end of the second half QPR began to take control of the possession but their two goals from substitute Jamie Mackie came too late to snatch a draw.

Hughes took note of the display, adding: “I will take some comfort from the second half, when we completely dominated them.”

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