Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has said yesterday afternoon’s 3-3 draw against Reading was ‘two points dropped’ despite his side’s late comeback, speaking to West London Sport post-match.
Having found themselves 3-1 down in the 77th minute with John Swift’s hat-trick, after initially going 1-0 up at the Select Car Leasing Stadium earlier on, it looked as though the R’s were set to experience their first taste of defeat in the 2021/22 campaign.
However, Andre Gray’s close-range finish from Albert Adomah’s low cross just a couple of minutes later set up an exciting last ten minutes in Berkshire, with captain and summer signing Stefan Johansen drilling home a stoppage-time equaliser to steal a point for the away side.
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This was a big boost for the west London side who have extended their unbeaten start of the season after eight competitive games, an impressive total for a club who sit in fourth place, two points behind West Bromwich Albion at the top of the table.
However, the fact they went 3-1 down to a struggling Reading side was a shock in the first place, with the Royals losing four of their five Championship games this term prior to yesterday’s clash and conceding 16 goals in those matches.
In the end, the Royals’ poor defensive record continued which allowed Mark Warburton’s side to grab a point, but the 59-year-old wasn’t exactly pleased with the result.
He said to West London Sport: “We have to say that is two points dropped, but if that is a bad day at the office for us then it speaks highly of the players and how hard they worked.
“We controlled long parts of the game but it is about putting the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t do that and to be honest, didn’t look really dangerous until the last 10 minutes.
“We had to change the formation, we were dominating the ball but not hurting them and we found ourselves 3-1 down. We went to a 4-3-3 and put Albert on.
“We spoke all week about getting crosses into the box, but we didn’t do it until we were 3-1 down.”
Considering the gulf in class between the two teams before yesterday’s match, QPR would have been very disappointed with a draw. But with West Brom and Fulham dropping points and the manner in which they responded to going 3-1 down, this will feel a lot better than an ordinary 3-3 draw.
The fact they also conceded three goals and weren’t exactly potent in attack until the closing stages of the games gives the second-tier side something to improve on, on the training ground.
And let’s be honest, the QPR players are human after all and will always be due the odd bad day throughout a gruelling 46-game Championship campaign. Was this even an ‘off day’ considering their late comeback?
It might be harsh to call it that, but they won’t want a repeat of the opening 77 minutes and will be hoping to turn draws like this into wins for the remainder of the season. In the end, it could be the difference between a place in the top six and a finish just outside the play-offs.
You could also flip it and say this late equaliser and point could also make a positive difference come the end of the season – but they will be hoping to take all three points away against Bournemouth in what will be a hugely competitive tie at the Vitality Stadium.