QPR manager Mark Warburton has suggested that the club could challenge for promotion to the Premier League next season, if they are able to keep the majority of their current squad together.
Following a challenging start to the season, a strong second half of the campaign has seen comfortably climb into mid-table in the Championship, having won ten of their last 16 games.
Now it seems as though Warburton believes the club are capable of building on that next season, provided they keep the core of their playing squad at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Speaking to West London Sport about the importance of retaining the services of his squad, Warburton said: “You can’t keep changing players every season. The first year I was here we changed 15 players the second we changed 12. You can’t keep starting again.
“If we can use the budget we have wisely and continue to develop our own young players, and recruit as well as we possibly can and then keep building and keep our players, we will be in a good position.”
Since last summer, QPR have lost a number of key players from their 2019/20 squad, with the likes of Ebere Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ryan Manning and Jordan Hugill all leaving for pastures new.
Warburton though, is aware that QPR cannot afford to let that happen again if his side are to build on their current form next season, as he added: “Last season we lost 55-odd goals from our team. But as Barnsley have shown this season, if you keep your team together and add one or two players you can be in a good position.
“We have a good core here and have some excellent senior professionals like Stefan Johansen, Charlie Austin, Albert Adomah, Lee Wallace, Geoff Cameron.
“They help and mentor the young players and are really important. If we can keep them together we will be in good shape.”
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Of those players named by Warburton, Johansen and Austin are both on loan at QPR until the end of the season, while Wallace and Cameron both see their contracts at the club expire this summer.
I do agree with what Warburton is saying here.
The form they have been in since the turn of the year – when Austin and Johansen both joined the club on loan – is the sort you would expect from a club challenging for a place in the play-offs at the very least.
As a result, it does seem as though keeping this squad together could give QPR a real opportunity to push for a place in the Premier League next season.
If however, they are unable to do that, then the changes they have to make could put them a few steps back in terms of the progress, which as we have seen this season, could leave them playing catch-up in the Championship table.