EFL Statement: Queens Park Rangers v English Football League
QPR struggled to test Preston's defence throughout the match and were denied a late equaliser by a spectacular save from goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
Defeat means The R's are still winless against Preston since and their wait for a victory at Deepdale stretches back to - in the old Second Division. Preston, who finished seventh in the Championship last season and missed out on the play-offs by just two points, certainly started the brighter.
Callum Robinson curled an effort high and wide from 20 yards after seven minutes before Tom Barkhuizen went much closer five minutes later - whistling a volley inches wide from Louis Moult's lay-off. QPR grew into the first half as it progressed. Luke Freeman launched an ambitious effort after 27 minutes that was dragged harmlessly wide from 25 yards. But Preston went close again in the 38th minute as Barkhuizen drifted in from the right wing and his low yard strike ruffled the side-netting.
It was McClaren's side though that had the best chance of the first half when Jake Bidwell picked out Matt Smith, but the unmarked striker headed wide from 10 yards. Five minutes after the break, Preston were in front. Harrop delivered a free-kick from the left touchline which was met at the far post by Browne, whose header looped over goalkeeper Matt Ingram and into the far corner. The visitors attempted to respond with a set-piece of their own seven minutes later, but Freeman's strike from 20 yards was easy for Rudd to hold.
Ian Holloway left the west London club yesterday afternoon after guiding the Hoops to a 16th place finish in the Championship, and the focus will now be on appointing a boss to move them up the league table. It's thought that McClaren's appointment at Loftus Road is moving nearer, but according to Sky Bet, there's another contender on the scene.
The former Everton and Manchester United manager looks likely to leave the London Stadium with his contract at the Hammers coming to an end this summer. The news of Ian Holloway's dismissal sent shockwaves around the QPR fanbase with many saying he deserved the chance to see out the remaining 12 months of his contract.
One thing is for certain, it's crucial that QPR get the next appointment right as they reach a pivotal moment in the rebuilding of the club. Keep up to date with the latest news, features and exclusive from football.
Available to download from the App Store and Google Play. Video Loading Video Unavailable. Click to play Tap to play. The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now. Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter. Amit Bhatia Amit Bhatia interview: