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Gaffer hopes Derby point can act as catalyst

QPR boss Mark Warburton is hopeful that today’s (Saturday) 1-1 draw at Derby County can reignite our Sky Bet Championship campaign.

After a fine start to the season saw the R’s position themselves in and around the division’s top six, Warburton’s men have stuttered in recent weeks.

Rangers more than deserved their point at Pride Park this afternoon, though, secured thanks to Ebere Eze’s first-half penalty (45+4 minutes).

Earlier, Martyn Waghorn’s 23rd-minute free-kick handed Derby the lead.

“Very respectfully, if anything we feel like we have dropped two points today,” Warburton told www.qpr.co.uk. “We’ve undoubtedly had a poor November, but we showed today the desire in the squad. I’ve no doubt we’ll get stronger and stronger.

“The point was more than fully deserved. We were in control for the entirety of the first half and conceded after one loose free-kick given away. We got punished.

“But all over the park, we dominated the game, so getting the penalty [and equalising] was the least we deserved before half-time. The second half was more balanced, but we were still in control.

“After a poor last 10 minutes on Wednesday night [against Nottingham Forest], that was a professional reaction from the players.”

He added: “The players were angry. You read reports of being thrashed 4-0 and we had an unacceptable last 10 minutes where we conceded three goals.

“So the players were frustrated, angry and you saw their reaction today.

“As I said, it was a very professional performance. People describe us with the words of free-flowing and expansive, but we had to be solid, compact and resilient as well.”

Rangers have deployed a 3-5-2 formation for much of the season, but reverted to 4-4-1-1 at Pride Park – Warburton making five changes to the team well beaten by Forest in the end in the process.

Angel Rangel, Geoff Cameron, Marc Pugh, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Jordan Hugill all deputised.

“The boys responded very well,” he said. “We went with the shape today and had a bit more experience with Angel, Marc and Geoff. We felt more solid and compact. Pride Park is a tough venue to play at, against a very talented opponent. But we delivered a really good performance.

“Bright is a very talented boy. He hasn’t come through an academy system and has much to learn, but he’s got the raw attributes to be a very, very talented player. He has blistering pace, desire, strength and resilience about his play as well.

“The more he can learn, the better he can be.”

We showed today the desire in the squad. I’ve no doubt we’ll get stronger and stronger.

Mark Warburton