Steve McClaren felt Preston North End’s experience made the difference after they edged out his QPR side 1-0 on the opening day of the new Championship season on Saturday.
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Alan Browne’s header five minutes into the second half meant the former England boss tasted defeat in his first competitive game in charge of the Rs at Deepdale.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game against a wily, old experienced Preston team who have been doing jobs on people and know how to win games, especially at home,” said McClaren, who replaced Ian Holloway at Loftus Road in the summer.
“They demonstrated their experience and we, at times, showed out naivety.
“We defended okay, got beaten by a set play, and I think Matt Ingram only had one real save to make.
“We didn’t do enough to win it but we nearly got a draw at the end when we had to go for it and the shackles came off.”