Queens Park Rangers will have another tough test waiting in front of them this Saturday, as they take on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United at Elland Road, looking to put their midweek derby defeat behind them.
A 3-1 defeat at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Monday evening meant the R’s lost the bragging rights in West London to Brentford, where a win would’ve taken them into second place in the Championship.
However, there is no time to dwell over the performance as Mark Warburton’s side play their second game in a week, against a side which sit third in the table in Leeds.
QPR will be happy to have their main striker Jordan Hugill back available, as the 27-year-old served a suspension in the game against Brentford for accumulating five yellow cards.
One R’s player that will be hoping for a chance in the next game is Marc Pugh, who was signed on a free transfer from Bournemouth in the summer, after the expiry of his contract at the Premier League club.
The 32-year-old made 312 appearances for AFC Bournemouth in his nine years at the club, scoring 56 goals for the Cherries after signing from Hereford in 2010. Pugh achieved promotion from League One and the Championship under Eddie Howe.
Despite his Premier League and Championship experience, Pugh has only played 233 minutes of league football this season, starting just one game for QPR. That contrasts with left-back Ryan Manning, who has played 1260 minutes, over 1000 minutes more.
Should Pugh get a chance at QPR?
In QPR’s last game, Warburton deployed a 4-4-1-1 formation, the first time the system has been used this season. It saw Bright Osayi-Samuel on the right-side of midfield, and Eze on the left, with Ilias Chair in the No.10 role.
If that system gets played going forward, Pugh may finally have his chance.The key reason behind his omission is the form of Ebere Eze, who has featured seven times this season on the left flank. His six goals and four assists has been a huge reason for QPR’s good start to the season.
Unfortunately, it is extremely likely that the QPR manager was forced into playing a 4-4-1-1 shape due to the absence of striker Jordan Hugill.
What can Pugh do force his way in the side? If he continues to impress in training, he will eventually get a chance in the side. Warburton could also be playing the long game; it is a tough season with over 45 fixtures in total, so it is inevitable that Pugh’s experience will be utilised in one way or the other.