QPR caretaker-boss Gareth Ainsworth believes a night out at Old Trafford can provide the impetus for the Londoners to finally get back among the Premier League's big boys.

Rangers have been in the Championship for 12 seasons now and Iain Dowie's recent dismissal confirmed expectations are still not being met despite an influx of cash from a wealthy consortium that includes Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone.

However, Tuesday night's 1-0 Carling Cup defeat at Manchester United marked a brief return to football's top table.

"Games like this can push us on as a club," said Ainsworth. "Probably not many people do remember where we were.

He added: "It has been so long since we came to places like this.

"But we are ambitious and we want to be back here on a regular basis. That means Premier League status.

"This has been a great taste. I brought a lot of players with me to show them what we could have and if we play like we did we will not go far wrong in the Championship."

Nani and Anderson had their moments but the breakthrough did not come until Peter Ramage sliced down substitute Danny Welbeck 14 minutes from time, allowing Carlos Tevez to ease United into the last eight from the penalty spot.

"We deserved it," said Ferguson.

"We played with great energy and speed. It was always going to be tough to get that first goal because QPR's defensive record is good but overall I am pretty pleased."

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