MARK Warburton will be looking for his QPR squad to provide a response when they head to Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Rangers suffered a disappointing defeat against Nottingham Forest in midweek. The R’s battled with 10 men for the majority of the second period but an extremely disappointing final 10 minutes saw them ship three poor goals.
The manager labelled that final 10 minutes as unacceptable after the match, and now he wants them to right the wrongs when they face Derby at Pride Park.
“There should be an anger and a frustration and you have to channel that in the right way,” the manager told www.qpr.co.uk.
“Every player and every staff member is accountable. I’m manager – I’m accountable – and that is how it works. We know our professional standards, individually and collectively, and we all have a responsibility to ourselves, to teammates and to our fans. That goes to every player at every club.
“You have to recognise that responsibility and embrace it; that’s the job. From minute 81 to 90 on Wednesday, we didn’t embrace it. We have to respond and recognise what we face on Saturday – a talented team with a good home record who, in their minds, will be looking to right their own wrong of their defeat at Fulham. It’s an opportunity for us to correct things very quickly.”
Warburton was disappointed with the nature of all the goals Rangers conceded on Wednesday night. He says his team have to do more as a unit to sharpen up in defence.
He said: “You look at a team. It’s easy to go ‘his fault, his fault’ but the fact is we do it together.
“I keep saying it, if we look after a ball in a certain area or if we press well then the rest doesn’t happen. If we block a cross then a defender doesn’t miss a header and so on.
“It’s about us as a team and that is the responsibility I refer to; do your job. Go and do your job really well. Go and do the basics outstandingly well and we are a very good team.
“There is loads of quality in the dressing room and we have shown that already. We have had very good spells in games but we have to be more consistent from first whistle to last.”
Rangers will be supported by around 1,000 fans at Pride Park and the manager is keen to give them an enjoyable day.
He said: “I always say it and it is never said as a throwaway remark; I always recognise the cost and the time implications to follow your club home and away.
“When you have a bad result at home and you see the stands empty with five or six minutes to go, that is the most depressing sign for me. The fans are telling you what they think and quite rightly.
“For them to have to see their team lose heavily at home was unacceptable. Our fans’ support has been outstanding and we have that responsibility – and desire – to make sure they enjoy their away visits.
“When they have been to Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and enjoyed their trips, the backing we have received has been fantastic. We never take it for granted and have to understand that it is one of our key responsibilities, to make sure our fans enjoy following their team.”
Finally, the manager provided a team news update, with goalkeeper Liam Kelly edging closer to fitness.
He said: “Liam is probably two or three weeks away. He had a nasty injury but is back out on the grass running, which is great to see. The medical team have done a superb job with all the players and Yoann Barbet is probably a couple of weeks away.
“Liam’s injury means Dillon Barnes has stepped up [to the bench] sooner than we expected but he has a lot of work to do. If he was called upon, he has got the ability to step in and do the job but it is about looking after young players and not throwing them in too early.
“Dillon has come in from a lower level but we see his potential going forward. He has a lot to learn still but he is doing tremendously well. Dillon has a great character, he works really hard and he is getting better week on week.”