QPR manager Mark Warburton has suggested that Yoann Barbet could move back into his natural centre-back position against Birmingham City after starting at left-wing-back at West Brom.
Warburton made the decision to start Barbet as an unorthodox left-wing-back at West Brom on Friday night with QPR having to contend without both Sam McCallum and Lee Wallace at the moment. That comes with the pair both currently on the sidelines through injury.
It was a change that limited the Rs’ attacking threat and quality in terms of their build-up play down the left-hand side of the field.
Ultimately it was a decision that did not work out considering that QPR ended up on the wrong side of the result.
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A more attack-minded option down the left-hand side of the field might have to be deployed by Warburton against Birmingham on Tuesday as they aim to get back to winning ways in the Championship.
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Speaking to West London Sport ahead of the visit of Birmingham, Warburton insisted that he decided to go with Barbet at left-wing-back against West Brom to add more physicality to that area of the field. While he also hinted he could be ready to alter his position against Birmingham.
He said: “It was only because we knew the physical threat – the set-pieces and the long throws coming in – and you’ve got to deal with it. They (West Brom) have got some real good power and physicality.
“We dealt with that. In the end it was an individual error that cost us. So that side of it worked.
“Did we lose out on the footballing side? Yes. But they expected us to play football and we wanted to mix it up.
“For long periods of that game that worked and we were comfortable with the game plan. But we played less football for a reason. We have to show we can mix it up as well.”
You can understand why Warburton felt it was the right decision to deploy Barbet as a left-wing-back at West Brom considering the Baggies like to test opponents in terms of their ability to deal with a constant supply of service up to their forwards.
Had QPR held onto their 1-0 lead given to them inside the opening minute, then Warburton’s decision would have seemed to have been vindicated.
However, now that they lost the game he will have to take responsibility for perhaps going a little too far away from QPR’s natural game at the Hawthorns in order to combat West Brom’s style.
Against Birmingham, you would expect Warburton to revert back to Rs’ usual brand of passing football and that would mean Barbet shifting back into the back three.
Doing that would allow a more naturally forward-thinking player to come into the side down the left and try and make things happen going forwards.