QPR manager Neil Warnock praised the character of his players after the Championship leaders scraped to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Leicester at Loftus Road.
On-loan West Brom striker Ishmael Miller snatched victory for Rangers two minutes from time in an encounter which could have gone either way, with home goalkeeper Paddy Kenny at his best to keep out the visitors.
Warnock revealed a number of his players went into the game carrying fitness niggles, and he believes that mentality will be crucial to their promotion bid.
“You’ve got players like Heidar Helguson and Adel Taarabt, who hadn’t trained because they were ill, and Wayne Routledge, who went home from training yesterday with antibiotics and then rang me to say he wanted to play,” Warnock said.
“When you’ve got lads like that, who do more than they should do, it shows you how much character you’ve got in your squad.
“That’s what makes this such a fantastic result. Leicester were as good as we’ve played this season, and if we’d lost or drawn I couldn’t have complained about anything.”
Swansea stay second, eight points off the leaders, despite Swans boss Brendan Rodgers suffering the curse of the manager of the month award as his side slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Scunthorpe.
Joe Garner’s penalty condemned Swansea to only their second defeat in nine games and Rodgers said: “Obviously we have got to be disappointed with the result.”
Swansea’s rival Cardiff missed the chance to go second as they slipped to a 2-0 loss to Ipswich. Jimmy Bullard struck brace to clinch three impressive points, and Town manager Paul Jewell was thrilled.
“I lost my temper with my players at half-time but it worked; we were much stronger in the second half.”
Norwich and Nottingham Forest also dropped points on a mixed day for promotion-chasing sides.
Canaries boss Paul Lambert is rueing Wes Hoolahan’s second-half penalty miss as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by basement boys Preston.
After Grant Holt had equalised Chris Brown’s opener for North End, the Canaries had a chance to secure victory when they were awarded a spot-kick after Darren Carter handled.
But Hoolahan’s chipped shop was easily saved by Iain Turner, and Lambert left his player in no doubt that it was an incident not to be repeated. “I don’t tell players how they should take penalties but I don’t think he’ll be taking one again like that while I am manager,” said Lambert.
Fifth-placed Forest saw their remarkable 36-match unbeaten run at the City Ground come to an end with a 1-0 loss against Hull.