MARK Warburton says QPR will head into Saturday’s local derby at Brentford full of confidence, having hit 11 goals in their two matches since the turn of the year.
Those goals came in a 6-1 thrashing of Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship on New Year’s Day and, most recently, in Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Swansea City in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Attention now switches back to the league and Warburton insists his squad are relishing the trip to Brentford’s Griffin Park on Saturday lunch-time.
“I’m expecting a very good footballing test,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “Brentford have been great at home and they have a very strong defensive record.
“They’ve conceded very few goals; they move the ball really well; they have good individual talents and collectively they are very strong.
“We know that we face another tough challenge but we have scored 11 goals in two games and we go into it full of confidence. We’re looking forward to what will be an exciting game of football.”
The manager continued: “It’s a west London derby and what you have to do as a coach is understand what it means to the supporters. That’s key.
“This is a big game for the QPR and Brentford fans and my history is well known but I am QPR now and all I want on Saturday is three points. We have to make sure that we go there and deliver a performance for the QPR supporters that shows a work-rate and desire.”
The R’s will be supported by a sold-out away end on Saturday.
Rangers fans will be delighted with what they have seen from their side so far in 2020 and Warburton wants his squad to maintain the predatory cutting edge that they have shown in their last two matches.
He said: “We have started to convert our chances in our last two games and in truth the stats from the previous games were better than Cardiff and Swansea but we were just more clinical. Goals change games and it’s as simple as that.
“It’s about putting the ball in the back of the net and that can change the whole dynamic of a game. The opponent then has to come out and attack to try and get something back and that opens up more space and our ball players can play.
“The goals are so very important – we had created chances in our previous games and hadn’t capitalised, but the last two games have been very pleasing.”
The first week of the January transfer window has passed and, at his pre-game press conference, Warburton was asked about any potential incomings.
He said: “We are looking at maybe one player coming in [this month] if we can.
“If they add quality to the squad then we will move, as any club would do, but it has to fit within our financial parameters and they have to add the quality we are looking for.
“January is never easy, so you have to use your money wisely. If the ‘one’ comes in then great but if not we will just move on with the squad and we are perfectly happy with that.”
The boss was also asked about any outgoings, with a number of his players earning plaudits for their performances so far this season.
He said: “You want your players to attract interest – not in a negative way – because interest means they are performing well for you. The more of our players that attract Premier League interest, the happier I am because that means we’ll be in a good position.”
QPR will be without former Brentford man Yoann Barbet for the trip to Griffin Park.
Warburton said: “Yoann is probably two weeks away. He had a reoccurrence of his injury four or five weeks ago and apart from that we are in okay shape after a tough, gruelling programme through the busy Christmas period.”