They are mindful of last season's collapse when they were among the promotion favourites at Christmas only to go on an 11-game winless run and miss the play-offs.
That is spurring them to wins in tough games such as this pulsating clash, according to their American international keeper Marcus Hahnemann
"Our defence has been outstanding and it has been so easy to play with them. It took a deflection to beat me this time, but that can happen," he said.
"We are confident, but at the back of our minds we're still focused on what happened last season. We had a really bad time. Now we know what we have to do for the whole season and we're not even halfway done. We're giving ourselves a good margin so we are prepared, if and when a couple of bad results happen. I don't think we'll even think about promotion until May."
James Harper gave the Royals a 10th-minute lead before a determined QPR came back through Lee Cook in the 47th minute. The unlikely source of central defender Ivar Ingimarsson headed Reading's winner.
The Championship table is tighter than ever, which is why QPR are not too worried about their play-off hopes despite slipping to 11th. They also showed that they are a half-decent team.
Manager Ian Holloway is giving his players today off after a heavy run of games. Holloway said: "When I speak to them on Tuesday it will be difficult to have a go. All I can think of, after losing to that header, is set-pieces. If anybody scores a header against my team, I like them to have a split eye because that means my marker almost got there. "
Goals: Harper (0-1, 10mins), Cook (1-1, 47), Ingimarsson (1-2, 66)
QPR (4-4-2): Royce; Bignott, Evatt, Shittu, Dyer; Doherty, Langley, Gallen, Cook; Santos, Sturridge (Ainsworth 44). Substitutes not used: Cole (gk), Milanese, Moore, Shimmin.
Reading (4-4-2): Hahnemann; Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey; Little (Oster 64), Harper, Sidwell, Convey (Hunt 71); Kitson , Doyle. Substitutes not used: Stack (gk), Makin, Chukwunyelu-Obinna.
Booked: QPR: Gallen. Reading: Little, Kitson
Referee: A Leake (Lancashire)
Man of the Match: Ingimarsson Attendance: 15,347Reuse content