Gianfranco Zola edged closer to a painful Birmingham City exit after just 12 games in charge - put there by a rampant QPR following a great 4-1 win.

His opposite number admitted the former Chelsea legend was now between a rock and a hard place.

"I do not know where Zola will go after this game. It is up to him to work out," Ian Holloway said, while adding his side were in charge pretty much from the first goal scored by Matt Smith.

He added: "There is now a good feeling within the team after this win. I'm delighted with the performance.

Pride: Ian Holloway at St Andrews

"Our second goal put us in a very good situation and what was also pleasing was that all my strikers scored against Birmingham.

"Smith is a player I've always wanted. He is still catching up to speed. He is such a handful and he scored with a brilliant header.

"The last thing you want is him towering above you and I am delighted for him as he is a wonderful kid."

Zola looked a crestfallen man at the end.

"They were superior and we couldn't cope with the physicality of the opposition," he said. "On the other hand we couldn't produce enough quality to cause them problems.

"In the end we lost badly and I feel sorry for the players as it is hard for them at the present time."

Pile on: Yeni N'Gbakoto is somewhere under the heap of Rs players after making it 4-1

And the match...

QPR were very worthy winners at Birmingham to record a first win in five attempts.

Goals from Matt Smith, Conor Washington and subs Idrissa Sylla and Yeni N'Gbakoto did the job - and City, managed by former Chelsea hero Gianfranco Zola can have no complaints.

Rangers could have made it more with better luck, especially as tormentor-in-chief Smith made a massive difference - about 6ft 6ins worth of difference as he caused Blues all kinds of trouble.

Luke Freeman underlined Rs lively start when he had an early chance blocked, but City missed a sitter shortly after.

Head boy: Matt Smith scores

Jerome Sinclair's cross picked out defender Emilio Nsue in the centre, but his header from three yards was somehow glanced wide to leave Hoops mighty relieved.

Smith showed him how to do it with a bullet header from Freeman's corner on 18 minutes continue his fine run against Birmingham for 1-0.

He nearly had another soon after with another nod at the far post, this time well saved by Tomasz Kuszczak.

A Sinclair shot clipped the top of the bar after Grant Hall got a brave block to deflect the effort, and Conor Washington's effort was goalbound only for Freeman to inadvertently become the blocker this time.

The half time break was no stop to rampant Rangers, when Smith nodded down. Ryan Manning had a close effort half cleared, and Washington rammed home the loose ball into the bottom corner.

Sub Sylla got down to convert Pawel Wszolek's cross with six minutes left to spark a massive exodus from home fans.

There was practically no one left apart from buoyant Rs supporters when second sub N'Gbakoto fired home a 30-yard free-kick that flew past a dozy Blues defence seconds later.

Those left could at least cheer a very minor consolation when Nsue made up for his earlier miss with a goal in the third minute of added time to muddy Rs clean sheet.

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