GOOD evening and may I firstly extend a warm welcome to Thomas, his players and staff for this evening’s Championship fixture.
Brentford arrive here on the back of two excellent wins, including a fine away victory against high-flying Swansea, and will therefore be high on confidence and keen to extend their winning run.
I am very aware of the threat they will undoubtedly pose and the challenge they will present, but as always it is our responsibility to respond well and deliver a level of performance that secures the much-sought-after three points. We look forward to a good encounter and to sharing a post-game drink with Thomas and his staff.
Tuesday night was frustrating for many reasons, not least the fact we delivered a below-par display. From the outset we did not have our normal passing fluency and quite simply made too many unforced errors against a good quality opponent. However, despite being below our best, we still emerged with a point and retained a top-six spot and, if this is the outcome from a ‘bad day at the office’, I guess we are in a good place!
I was asked post-game if I was disappointed at not securing the victory that would have propelled us into second place. I was also asked if I was worried about the disparity in performance between the Hull and Reading games. The simple fact is that the players have performed exceptionally well and as I stated at the weekend, they absolutely deserve to be where they are in the league. They, like all of us, will have good days and not-so-good days and we will of course always be striving for a higher level of consistency.
However, it is essential we keep sight of realistic targets and remember what will represent success for the team come the end of the season. I apologise for repeating this point and again I emphasise that there is no lack of ambition or desire, but this is a new squad coming together in what is a highly competitive and demanding league. This squad of players were touted as one of the favourites for relegation only a few weeks ago and yet they have demonstrated clearly their quality, hunger, work ethic and togetherness.
Our aim is naturally to finish as high as we possibly can in the Championship and to build a team that our supporters can be proud of and enjoy watching. We want to cement a philosophy and playing style that brings the success every club so desperately seeks. If this happens ahead of schedule then fantastic, however time is the key commodity that is often in such short supply and these players will need time to keep working and to keep developing.
As such, they will undoubtedly need your patience and support for when we have the ‘not so good’ days. They are only human and mistakes will be made, however what we can and must guarantee our supporters is that maximum effort will indeed be the minimum requirement. I hope very much that you will recognise that some days, performance dips but if you see every player always giving maximum effort then I think we will be in a good place come the end of the season.
Finally, can I make mention of the support team around the first-team squad. Be it the medical or sports science, the analytical or logistical, we have a number of committed and dedicated staff members working together diligently to play their part in moving the football department forward.
They work long hours and add significant value above and beyond their basic responsibilities and without such contribution the players would not be able to deliver the level of performance we have witnessed thus far. It really is about the ‘team’, about players and staff working together with shared values and clear goals. I watch every day how hard the team work and it gives me much confidence that we can indeed keep moving forward and achieve the success we all crave.
Enjoy the game!
R’s boss Mark Warburton was speaking in Issue 11 of Hoops – the official matchday programme of QPR – ahead of tonight’s (Monday) Sky Bet Championship encounter versus Brentford in W12.
Be sure to pick up your copy, available both around the ground and in the Superstore, if you’re heading to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this evening.