Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has spoken about the importance of his senior players at the club, and has singled out summer-signing Marc Pugh for praise.
QPR host Brentford in the Championship tonight, in what will be Mark Warburton’s first West London derby as QPR manager.
Speaking ahead of the visit of his former club, Warburton spoke about the youngsters in his squad, and how important the senior professionals are in aiding their development.
“We have young players who’ve up to now been first-class,” said Warburton. “Dom Ball, Ebere (Eze), Ilias (Chair), Bright (Osayi-Samuel), Ryan Manning, Liam Kelly’s young in goal… These type of guys have done outstandingly well, but the importance of the senior pros should never be underestimated.
“The likes of Angel (Rangel), Geoff (Cameron), Lee (Wallace), Grant (Hall) and Toni (Leistner). Marc Pugh – He’s an outstanding pro with how he looks after himself, how he trains every day, his experience and his C.V. This type of knowledge to pass on to young players is invaluable.”
Warburton boasts one of the Championship’s youngest sides, and have some of English football’s brightest young talents in Eze and Chair in particular.
Pugh joined the club on a free in the summer, having been released by Bournemouth.
He’s due to play his 500th professional football match with QPR this season, having started his career with Burnley way back in 2003.
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Since then he’s played for the likes of Bury, Shrewsbury Town, Hereford United, Bournemouth and Hull, but it was with Eddie Howe at the Cherries where he had his career best form.
Pugh played over 300 games for Bournemouth scoring 56 goals over a nine-year period, winning promotion from League One and the Championship under Howe.
Since arriving at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in the summer, Pugh hasn’t played all that much football for QPR.
But at 32-years-old he still has plenty to offer, and is a good option to have on the bench for Warburton.
His experiences with Bournemouth will be vital to the squad and his manager, and he’ll be a good mentor for the younger players in the dressing room too.