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Warburton looks ahead to West Brom

QPR boss Mark Warburton is aware of the challenge that West Bromwich Albion will pose this weekend as Rangers look to build on last weekend’s eventual FA Cup victory over Rotherham United.

Attentions now quickly switch back to the Sky Bet Championship and victory over the Baggies in W12 would see the R’s leapfrog Valerien Ismael’s side as the hunt for promotion intensifies.

Of course, the Super Hoops head into this one in fine form, having clinched back-to-back league victories over Bristol City and Birmingham City respectively before the tie with the Millers - which had to be decided via a penalty shootout.

R’s boss Warburton is aware of the quality that West Brom have among their ranks. Ahead of the clash, he told us: “We must prepare for another big challenge, we have a high-quality opponent coming in, they will be a formidable challenge but one we must meet.

“Right now, it is all about the next game, our targets haven’t changed - it’s about getting the three points every week.

“West Brom are a high-quality team, they have had a very challenging few weeks, so we know they are going to be very keen to reverse that. They have had a tough time on the road, but you just have to look at the quality they have in their squad to know how difficult of an opponent they are.

“We are at home in front of a big crowd, we have a responsibility to our supporters, the pressure is on us. We want to be in these games, playing the important matches, enjoying these atmospheres and occasions.

“Right now, the only focus is West Brom, you have to enjoy playing in front of a big crowd and let’s see where it takes us.

“We are at home; we are pushing hard and are looking forward to a good encounter.”

Last time out at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, extra-time and penalties were needed to separate QPR and Rotherham - the R’s eventually coming out victorious courtesy of Jordan Archer’s penalty heroics. But this came at a cost to Warburton’s side.

He explained: "A lot of players had 120 minutes in their legs last week, so you have to look after them as well. It was a tough ask, we made it difficult for ourselves, but it’s been a good week and we look forward to the game on the weekend.

“Jordan suffered that nasty and painful injury which what was literally the last save of the game, but surgery has gone well. He is going to be out for a good while, to lose Jordan was very frustrating for all concerned, but we have acted fast and have been able to bring David [Marshall] in.

“He is a goalkeeper with a huge amount of experience and an international status, who was very keen to come and jumped at the opportunity, so we are very pleased to have David on board.

“We are sure that he will push Seny [Dieng] when he returns, he wants to play games and likewise will have a huge mentoring impact on the younger lads also.”

The arrival of Marshall was Rangers’ first signing since the opening of the January transfer window and the R’s boss expects to be active between now and the end of the month.

He added: “We are still keen to be active, we have made it clear that we need to add one or two more. We are very pleased about bringing David Marshall in, but we need a couple more arrivals to ensure we have the depth and cover that we will undoubtedly need throughout the second stage of the season.”

On the injury front, the Super Hoops are expecting to see Chris Willock return following his absence from the FA Cup victory, while defenders Jordy de Wijs and Sam McCallum edge ever closer to returns.

The R’s boss explained: "Chris had a knock last weekend, but he was trained well this week, obviously Ilias [Chair], Seny and Ossie [Kakay] are away with AFCON but that apart we are in good shape.

“Jordy is back in training, while Sam McCallum is a few weeks behind - he is on the grass and working hard but he has had surgery and we have to make sure everything is right.”

We are at home in front of a big crowd, we have a responsibility to our supporters

Mark Warburton
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