Nigel Adkins has a plan and he is sticking to it. This performance showed why. It also showed why Southampton are sticking with Adkins.
In a match between the Premier League's bottom two teams, billed as a six-pointer and even a clash that could lead to the defeated manager losing his job, Southampton played with a composure and slickness that made one wonder what all the worrying was about.
Queens Park Rangers had the experienced campaigners but Southampton the belief, poise and skill. They took charge of the game right from the start. Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon went close to scoring before Rickie Lambert did so in the 23rd minute, bravely beating Samba Diakité to head in from close range.
Southampton had also been first to the ball at every stage of the build-up as it bounced around the QPR box following a corner. They were more determined than the hosts, as well as more in tune with each other's movements. Their imaginative attacking was nothing new, as Southampton have shown many times this season. But they were also more defensively solid than they have been, albeit partially because QPR were so impotent.
The Japanese Saints centre-back Maya Yoshida had his best game since arriving in the summer and the two young full-backs, Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw, also excelled. Puncheon increased Southampton's lead just before half-time, rifling into the net from 18 yards after good work by Clyne. Southampton's nerves could have frayed when Junior Hoilett halved their advantage by heading into the net in the 49th minute following a misjudgment by Paulo Gazzaniga, but instead the visitors kept cool before settling the game in the 84th minute, when Anton Ferdinand turned a Morgan Schneiderlin cross into his own net.
"Before we even kicked a football this season there were a lot of situations where I'd be the first to lose my job which was probably natural as a new manager from a newly promoted club," said Adkins. "But you just get on with it."
Man of the match Maya Yoshida (Southampton)