This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand….
QPR are preparing for a trip to face Leeds on the weekend as they aim to bounce back from their disappointing 3-1 defeat to Brentford in the West London derby on Monday night.
Thomas Frank’s side ran out victorious courtesy of two strikes from Ollie Watkins either side of Said Benrahma’s penalty, while Grant Hall was on target for the hosts with his effort just after half-time.
The result meant QPR failed to build on their recent run of positive form which saw them secure seven points from their previous seven games, while Brentford sealed their third straight win as they continue their ascent up the table.
Mark Warburton’s side were outplayed by their West London rivals who looked good value for their victory, despite the controversial penalty decision which led to their second goal following Josh Scowen’s alleged foul on Bryan Mbeumo.
QPR lacked the cutting edge and incision which had typified their previous victories this term, as they both struggled in front of goal and looked suspect as a defensive unit.
This certainly does not bode well ahead of their challenging trip to face the Whites at Elland Road on the weekend, but it should be noted that Warburton will be boosted by the return of one key man when his side make the journey up north.
Jordan Hugill has been one of the Rs’ best performers this term with his seven goals in 13 Championship appearances having helped his side secure seven victories so far this season.
Would QPR's result against Brentford have been different if Hugill had played?
The West Ham loanee has formed a strong strike partnership with Nahki Wells since his arrival in West London, and the latter failed to make a significant impact on Monday night without the presence of his suspended fellow frontman.
Hugill was ruled out of the Brentford clash after being shown his fifth yellow card in QPR’s previous outing against Reading, and his presence at the front of his side’s attack was sorely missed for a number of reasons.
The Rs would have of course benefitted from his inclusion due to the goalscoring abilities he has already proven this campaign, while he is also vital to Warburton’s side overall approach with his physicality and hold-up play.
Wells does not possess these strengths to the same extent, and this is why he failed to handle some of the long balls played up to him with the same effectivity that Hugill could have achieved.
It was clear to see that the Rs missed Hugill on Monday. This will have enabled many of the club’s supporters to further appreciate his importance, and they will definitely be thankful to see him return at Elland Road.