MARK Warburton says that three points against Middlesbrough on Saturday will put his squad in a great position heading into the November international break.
Rangers haven’t won any of their last three matches but a win over Boro could propel the R’s back into the play-off positions.
And manager Warburton hopes they can deliver the goods, though he knows that Boro, who sit 22nd in the Championship at the moment, will provide a difficult challenge.
“There’s no doubt Middlesbrough will come here with a point to prove,” he told www.qpr.co.uk. “They’re a big club with big expectations.
“They have a big squad and Jonathan Woodgate has come in with his experience, in terms of his playing career and he has Robbie Keane alongside him.
“I’ve watched a lot of their games and there have been some where they should’ve got something from the game. Their league position in my mind is somewhat false; they have a talented squad and have some injuries, which has been well documented.
“Whoever they put out [on Saturday] will be a talented player. We know that because they wouldn’t be at Middlesbrough otherwise. It will be another tough test for us.
“Middlesbrough will be conscious that the other two teams in the bottom three are playing each other, so it could be a very big weekend for many reasons. We have to prepare well because they have good quality throughout their ranks.”
Following the upcoming international break, QPR will begin the busy festive period. Warburton wants his players to keep believing in their style of football and ability.
He said: “Going into the international break with a good three points, we’d be in a great position.
“The Championship is so relentless, you have to focus one game at a time and if anything isn’t quite right then you pay the price, as I have said before. We have to recognise the good performances we’ve put in at places like Millwall at Sheffield Wednesday, getting results there too. We are a good side and we need to remember that.”
Warburton also wants his young and experienced players to work together to get the best out of each other.
He said: “Our older players have to pass on a deep knowledge of the experiences they have gained over recent years. If the young ones are clever then they will bleed them dry every single day; watch how they eat, how they train, how they prepare for games and how they analyse. I would say to them don’t just be a young player, be clever because these guys are good for a reason.”
Finally, the manager provided an update on team news, with Yoann Barbet set to miss out again this weekend.
He said: “Yoann is probably another couple of weeks away - that’s what the doctor has told me. Yoann has never had a muscle injury before, which is quite bizarre for a player of 27 years of age. The medical team are doing a fantastic job with him and Toni Leistner is 50-50. We’ll watch how he does and hopefully he’ll be ready for the weekend.”