Speaking to the press after Middlesbrough lost 2-1 at home to Queens Park Rangers, manager Neil Warnock had some choice words to say about one of his players in particular.

Middlesbrough extended their winless run to five games with defeat to QPR. A speculative effort from centre-back Rob Dickie arrowed into the top corner for the visitor’s opener, with Lee Wallace adding to their lead just three minutes later.

Middlesbrough got back into the game when Yannick Bolasie scored his second goal in three games, but they couldn’t grab an equaliser, even when QPR went down to 10 men, as Boro succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat.

Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport

Although no goalkeeper in the world could have kept out Dickie’s strike, Wallace’s goal was easily avoidable, with fingers pointed at defender Djed Spence.

Spence has been used often by Warnock in recent weeks despite having the likes of Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano, Duncan Watmore, Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fit and available. But Spence’s performances haven’t necessarily warranted a place in the starting eleven.

After the defeat Warnock was visibly annoyed and labelled Spence as ‘irresponsible’, claiming that he was the difference between Boro getting something out of the game and ultimately coming away with nothing, which proved to be the case.

Stephen Pond/Getty Images Sport

“To give two goals away, I still don’t understand,” he said.

“I said to Djed who’s marking the man who scores, he’s stood with him and just let’s him go to head the goal. It’s just irresponsible really, and it’s cost us because it’s been the winning goal.”

With just four games left between now and the end of the season Warnock has spoken out about giving players on the fringes of the squad more opportunities, meaning Spence could sit out the next few fixtures.

He has also suggested that some players are playing for their Middlesbrough careers and Spence surely didn’t help his chances of retaining his place in the Middlesbrough squad next season with his performance today.