Mark Warburton makes case to improve QPR defence

Rangers were winners against Blackburn but let in two soft goals.

By Press Association Published: 5 October 2019 - 5.16pm

QPR manager Mark Warburton praised his side after their 4-2 victory over Blackburn but admitted they need to tighten up at the back.

Rangers were excellent going forward and Nahki Wells’ seventh goal of the season put them ahead at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Ebere Eze doubled their lead early in the second half.

However, Warburton’s team are yet to keep a clean sheet this term and Blackburn were given hope when Bradley Dack scored from the penalty spot after being brought down by Yoann Barbet.

Goals from Bright Osayi-Samuel and Jordan Hugill sealed the win, although another defensive lapse by the hosts led to Adam Armstrong pulling a goal back for Blackburn late on.

“If we win every game 4-2 from now until May I’ll buy you as many beers as you could possibly want,” Warburton joked.

He added: “On a serious note, of course you want to keep a clean sheet. The trouble with defenders is that it’s easy for people behind keyboards to jump on and go: ‘Oh, Yoann Barbet!’ – but he’s the last line of defence.

“If he doesn’t make that tackle they go: ‘Why hasn’t he tried to tackle him?’ We missed the tackle ahead, didn’t maintain our shape and then they’re forced into that last-ditch tackle.

“Yoann Barbet has been outstanding and will continue to get better.

“It’s worrying that we gave a soft goal away. I was more frustrated with the second goal they scored. We were sloppy and complacent and we can’t do that.”

Wells’ opener continued his excellent form since returning for a second season on loan from Burnley, while Hugill’s header from Ryan Manning’s cross was the on-loan West Ham striker’s sixth goal of the campaign.

“I’m delighted that the two goalscorers kept on scoring,” Warburton said. “As a team we’re creating chances for those boys and they’re taking them.

“The players are moving the ball well and creating chances against good teams. If we can be more clinical in front of goal then we’re really going to hurt teams. We’ll have good days and bad days and need to keep going.

“We contained Blackburn, grew into the game and then deserved the victory.”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray claimed his team paid the price for trying to take the game to Rangers in the second half.

“QPR play on the counter-attack and are good at what they do,” Mowbray said. “They sit lots of men behind the ball and they break – and today when we exposed our defenders we got found out a little bit.

“We could have kept it as tight as we did in the first half and it might have finished 1-0 because we didn’t look like we were going to score.

“We needed to make the game a bit more stretched and see if we could score a goal. We scored two, could have had a few more, but ultimately you can’t lose the goals that we did and that’s what cost us the game.

“In the second half we decided to attack, be more positive and open the game up and our defenders didn’t really deal with the situation.

“You see the game and if you know anything about football you can see that we are a decent team, but you can’t lose four goals.”