Rangers ruin Clough bow
Nigel Clough's reign as Derby boss got off to a disappointing start as they lost 2-0 against QPR.
Last Updated: 17/01/09 8:35pm
Nigel Clough's reign as Derby boss got off to a disappointing start as the Rams suffered a 2-0 home defeat by QPR.
Clough followed his father Brian by stepping into the Derby hotseat earlier this month after 10 years in charge of Burton but was unable to spark an immediate turn-around in fortunes.
Wayne Routledge opened the scoring in the 22nd minute in just his second game for QPR since his £600,000 move from Aston Villa.
Mikele Leigertwood doubled Rangers' lead in the 36th minute and they held on to record their first away win since September and just their second all season.
That moves the ambitious Hoops towards the play-off places and leaves Derby with just one win from 10 league games, although they visit Manchester United on Tuesday hoping to reach the Carling Cup final after a surprise first-leg victory.
Brian Clough took Derby from the old Second Division to become champions of England and European Cup semi-finalists during his spell in charge from June 1967 to October 1973.
But it was a harsh introduction to league management for Clough junior after the 42-year-old cut his teeth at Burton.
The Rams had threatened through Kris Commons and Rob Hulse before QPR took the lead with their first effort on target.
Routledge had fired a warning shot across Derby's bow after 19 minutes but the hosts did not heed that warning and soon after the former Crystal Palace and Tottenham winger steered a low shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
Routledge then turned provider for his former Palace team-mate Leigertwood, who found the opposite corner with a shot from similar range.
Only a superb save from Roy Carroll to keep out Lee Cook's angled shot prevented matters from getting worse for Derby after 39 minutes.
Miles Addison, who this morning signed a contract extension to keep him at Derby until 2012, went close to celebrating his new deal with a goal in the first minute of the second half but his header was tipped round the post by Rangers keeper Radek Cerny.
At the other end, Heidar Helguson headed wide after 53 minutes before substitute Hogan Ephraim shot straight at Carroll midway through the second half.
Derby pushed forward in the closing quarter of an hour but were unable to find the goal that would have set up a tense finale.
The best chance fell to Andy Todd, making his first league start for Derby since the penultimate game of last season when the Rams were beaten 3-1 at Blackburn in their ill-fated Premier League campaign, but the defender headed wide from inside the six-yard box.
The only thing to spoil Rangers' day was a serious-looking injury to Martin Rowlands after only 12 minutes, which saw youngster Ephraim replace him in midfield.