Queens Park Rangers succumbed to their biggest defeat under Mark Warburton last night, losing 4-0 to Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
It’s now four defeats in the last five for QPR and the hammering at home to Forest last night was the pick of the bunch. QPR were ‘in the game’ up until the 81st-minute, insisted Warburton, but in a frantic final ten, Forest scored three with goals for Lewis Grabban, Joao Carvalho and Alfa Semedo.
The score at half-time was 1-0 to the visitors thanks to Tobias Figueiredo but the dynamic changed five minutes into the second-half, when QPR defender Lee Wallace was shown a straight red card for pulling down Forest’s Joe Lolley as the last man.
QPR are now 16th in the Championship – a far cry from the team that were in and amongst the play-off places just last month.
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Where it’s gone wrong for Warburton is a mystery but one thing isn’t, and that is that this current QPR side is under-performing and under-achieving. They showed so much potential at the start of the season and the players that lead the early Warburton revolution, Ebere Eze, Nahki Wells, Ilias Chair and so on look shot of confidence, and Warburton bewildered on the sidelines.
He’s donned a very youthful team since he took charge and the younger ones have arguably been the better. But as the team face their first bout of real adversity under Warburton, they need to turn back to the more weathered pros at the club – the likes of Angel Rangel who’s been left out of the last three matches, and Marc Pugh who’s not played in the last three either.
Rangel has been a good servant to QPR but in this the last season of his contract at the club, he could have one last burst before he likely ends his career. He’s not let QPR down when called upon and though the pace isn’t quite there anymore his experience in the heart of defence, especially now with Wallace suspended, could and should be called upon.
Pugh meanwhile has had to contend with the likes of Eze, Chair, Bright Osayi-Samuel and so on as he battles for a starting spot. It’s surprising that he’s not had more involvement this year but with Eze hitting some woeful form and Chair being played up-front, Pugh could slot into the QPR midfield for Saturday.
The R’s travel to Derby County that day, and Warburton really needs win.