QPR return to winning ways as they ease past Rotherham
QPR responded to selling Charlie Austin by ending an eight-game winless streak with a 3-0 success at Rotherham in the Sky Bet Championship.
The prolific striker was sold to Southampton in a B#4million deal on Saturday morning, but Rangers proved there was life after him as two goals in two second-half minutes and a late effort from Sebastian Polter gave Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink a first win in charge of Rangers.
It needed a stern half-time team-talk from the former Chelsea striker to get the best out of his side as they bounced back from a lifeless first-half performance with quickfire goals from Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips.
Polter then put the finishing touches on the win deep into injury time to add gloss to the result.
Rotherham, who suffered a first home defeat in six weeks, will consider the result cruel, but they were made to pay for a glut of missed chances in the first half, with Paul Green hitting the post and Matt Derbyshire somehow being denied from the rebound the best of them.
Rangers took the field just hours after losing Austin and it looked like being a tricky start without him in South Yorkshire.
They came up against a rampant start from the hosts, who have been enjoying some home comforts recently, as they carved out a raft of early chances.
Derbyshire tested Alex Smithies from an acute angle before Aimen Belaid had two efforts, one which was hooked over and the other blocked.
It was so sluggish from QPR and Rotherham should have gone ahead just after the half-hour.
Green wriggled into some space on the edge of the area and sent in a left-footed shot that curled into the post and - as the ball fell to Derbyshire, with the goal gaping - the whole ground expected him to score, only for a great last-ditch tackle from Nedum Onuoha to deny him.
Still the chances kept coming for the Millers and Danny Ward should have done better from a free header he planted wide from 12 yards.
Rangers were somehow able to get into the interval on level terms and they took advantage as they hit Rotherham with a two-goal salvo in two minutes.
First Hoilett used his pace to surge through the defence to roll past Lee Camp into the bottom corner in the 52nd minute and then Phillips latched onto Massimo Luongo's ball over the top to fire home two minutes later.
Leroy Fer curled an effort wide as QPR looked much more effective playing a direct style after the restart, but then they had to soak up 20 minutes of home pressure.
The Millers tried in vain to find a way back into the game and had their chances, but Jonson Clarke-Harris was unable to turn in at the near post from Joe Mattock's dangerous cross while Emmanuel Ledesma slammed a late shot wide.
There was no way back for them, though, and Hasselbaink, who turned down the chance to manage Rotherham earlier in the season when he was still at Burton, tasted victory for the first time as Rangers boss, with Polter turning in a close-range effort at the death.