Neil Warnock believes his table-topping QPR side should be playing with a smile on their faces after a steely 3-0 win at Middlesbrough took them a step closer to the Barclays Premier League.

Rangers went ahead in the 41st minute with a deflected opener from Heidar Helguson before the striker netted his second goal of the afternoon in the 60th minute and captain Adel Taarabt wrapped up the points with a late penalty.

Warnock, who celebrates a year in charge next week, said: "It was difficult early on and we couldn't quite get on the ball but we got better as the game went on. We got a break with the first goal because it took a deflection but we've those go against us at times so we won't complain. And we still worked hard for it."

He added: "The second goal was fabulous, the whole move was fabulous. In fact we played some good stuff today and it is a bonus when you do that.

"I've been delighted with the determination the team have shown and their willingness to put their bodies on the line when they have too. At times there has been a real northern grit in this southern team.

"But I've told the lads that they should be playing with a smile on their faces because we have the right recipe here now. We have the grit to battle when we need to but we have the ability to win games well too. You don't get many moments in football when it comes together like that.

"We're not getting carried away because we have a long way to go, six home games and six away, but if we can keep getting that consistency and keep getting results in games like this, then we are well on the way,"

Boro boss Tony Mowbray insisted his team were not far short of Rangers on a day when they slipped to their first defeat by more than a one goal margin since he arrived at the club to replace Gordon Strachan in October.

He said: "I didn't feel we were out-classed, they are a good side but for long spells, especially in the first half, we more than matched them. For an hour it was a decent performance.

"We are disappointed - but we haven't had too many results like that of late. Its the first time we have lost by more than one goal since I came here. We have take it on the chin, learn from it and bounce back on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest."

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Topics:
#Sunderland
#Heidar Helguson
#Championship
#Premier League
#Gordon Strachan
#Nottingham Forest
#Queens Park Rangers
#Middlesbrough
#Adel Taarabt
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