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Gaffer: We have to maintain our standards

MARK Warburton, his staff and his players have set high standards for each other so far this season and maintaining them is top of the manager’s agenda.

Rangers beat Blackburn Rovers 4-2 in their final match before October’s international break – their fifth league win in seven – and on Saturday they head to Hull City.

The boss is calling on his squad to keep up their impressive level of performance at the KCOM Stadium.

He told www.qpr.co.uk: “All credit to the players. I keep saying it but I can’t talk highly enough of them. We have a demand as a group and that’s player-to-player, that’s staff member-to-player and also player-to-staff member.

“We have an environment where everyone can give honest feedback and speak their mind in a respectful way and that is so important.

“We have got to set the highest possible standards for ourselves. We gave away a really sloppy goal against Blackburn. From 4-1 and cruising, we survived a warning shot and we were loose and we have got to recognise that and be better.

“It was a good win going into the break; four goals, four different scorers and more goals for our front two. It was great for Brighty and Ebs [to score] too but we were loose on too many occasions.”

Following the Blackburn game, four QPR players headed away on international duty and Warburton was delighted with how his international R’s got on.

He said: “Jan has gone away and scored; Nahki has gone away and scored; Conor Masterson put in a good performance against a good Italy [U21] side – that was a very tough fixture for him and Ireland, so our players have done well and that is really pleasing.

“The fact they have come back injury free is really pleasing too. Matty Smith didn’t get on for Wales but it is all part of his learning curve and now we all focus on Hull.

“They had a tough result against Huddersfield in their last game, so I am sure they will be ready for this game. We’ve trained well this week, we’re in a good frame of mind and we’ll go there full of belief.

“We’ll respect our opponents and we’ll have to do what we do well, be defensively compact and solid and be confident of recording a positive result.”

Rangers earned their first ever victory at The ‘new’ Den earlier this season and last time out they beat Blackburn for the first time in two decades.

QPR haven’t won at Hull in 30 years and Warburton insists that the history books are nothing to go by.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it [not winning at Hull in 30 years]! I heard about the Blackburn one because everyone kept telling me.

“It’s all about three points for us. History is irrelevant. We can only control what happens on Saturday, so we have to go there and deliver a performance. We have to go there in the right frame of mind, prepare well and then make sure that we deliver.”

Finally, the boss admitted that he may have a selection headache at the weekend, with his squad set to be back to full strength.

He said: “We have got a tight squad and we’ve had a couple of injuries recently but we have dealt with them. We lost Grant, Angel, Luke Amos and Matty Smith earlier in the season but we dealt with it. They are coming back and now we have some selection issues, which is great.”

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We have got to set the highest possible standards for ourselves.

Mark Warburton
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