QPR boss Ian Holloway is desperate to bounce back from a desperate run of results when neighbours Brentford travel to Loftus Road for the crucial league clash on Saturday.

Holloway is under mounting pressure from fans after a disastrous set of results.

His side have failed to win in 12 matches, the latest setback being a 3-0 defeat against Notts County.

And he knows that the supporters may lose patience if they fail to get a result in the pre-Christmas derby match against the in-form Bees.

He said: "Obviously the fans are going to be very concerned but all I can do is ask them to keep supporting us.

"There's a lot of anxiety around the place at the moment. But the players need to take responsibility and it's important that they come out fighting."

And Holloway was particularly disappointed with the way his team started the match on Saturday, which came on the back of a two-week break from league action.

He said: "You would have expected them to have gone out there with a point to prove. But I don't know where we were for the first fifteen minutes."

By that stage QPR were already 2-0 down. Richard Liburd put the Magpies ahead in the fifth minute when QPR failed to clear a ball in their own area.

Ten minutes later a Darren Caskey free-kick on the right was firmly headed in by Nick Fenton. Rangers were never able to get back in the game after that and their agony was compounded eight minutes from time when Danny Allsopp rounded Nick Culkin and beat him with a low right-footed shot.

Club captain Steve Palmer admitted that it was up to the players to turn things around over the festive period.

"That was not the response we were looking for. It's up to us as a group of individuals to lift things. We've got a chance to pick things up now starting with Brentford on Saturday.

Rangers go into the west London derby without Karl Connolly who is still struggling with a heel injury. Dan Shittu is doubtful with a groin problem and may require a fitness test.

The good news for Holloway is that Matthew Rose made a successful comeback on Saturday and the rest of the team also came through unscathed. Brentford go into the clash full of Christmas cheer after notching up three victories in eight days.

It began when they beat York City to progress to the third round of the FA Cup. That was followed up by success over Kidderminster Harriers in the LDV Vans Area Quarter-final.

They completed the hat-trick with a victory over Chesterfield in the league on Saturday, winning all three matches with the same 2-1 scoreline.

They went ahead last week when Stephen Hunt fired in a free kick after four minutes. The visitors were back on level terms eight minutes later when Chris Brandon scored from 20 yards.

The Bees scored the decisive goal in the 47th minute. From a quick corner Hunt laid it back into the path of Kevin O'Connor and he whipped in a superb cross which Rowan Vine touched home from a couple of yards out.

Bees boss Wally Downes is looking forward to the QPR game.

He said: "It's great to go into the Rangers game on the back of a win. We keep finding new ways to win games so I just hope next week is a better game than we've had previously with them last season."

Those two fixtures failed to produce any goals, and with QPR not having found the net in a league game since October, Brentford will be looking to pile on the pressure.

They have leapfrogged Rangers in the table and are currently occupying the last play-off place.

The Bees go into the game injury-free but Andy Frampton begins a three-match ban.

December 18, 2002 15:00