Mark Warburton has hailed Joe Lumley after Queens Park Rangers cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory against Coventry City.
The shot-stopper earned a clean sheet in his first start for the Hoops since September, which coincidentally came against the Sky Blues in a 3-2 defeat.
Lumley, whose current deal expires this summer, has gone out on loan to Doncaster Rovers and Gillingham this season as an emergency goalkeeper. But he was handed the starting job after Seny Dieng returned from international duty with Senegal.
Warburton said: “Seny had an eight-and-a-half-hour flight, got back mid-morning yesterday, and we’ve got to look after him. We’ve got players who are working hard.
“Joe’s been preparing outstandingly well – I can’t talk highly enough about Joe Lumley. He was ready to play and it was the right thing to do [start him in goal against Coventry].
“Lyndon [Dykes] started two games [for Scotland], and came on for the other game. We’ve got to look after the players.
“I’m really pleased with the squad, with the strength in depth, and the way they coped today.”
Lumley did not have much to do against Coventry, as QPR dominated the game, but was kept on his toes.
Gustavo Hamer’s free-kick called him into action before substitute Viktor Gyokeres had him at full stretch when the striker nodded wide from Matty James’ set-piece.
Gyokeres went close again when his piledriver free-kick fell the wrong side of the post.
Chris Willock edged QPR ahead after just a minute when he glanced home Lee Wallace’s cross. The hosts went into the break two up, thanks to a Michael Rose own goal, before Ilias Chair’s solo effort capped off a comfortable afternoon.
Chair took on the Coventry defence alone with an individual run before seeing the goalkeeper Marko Marosi spill his effort on its way in.
Warburton added: “[Lumley is] a top class keeper. He’s a very, very good goalkeeper who has had to watch Seny – and Liam [Kelly], in turns, has played very well. He’s had to be patient.
“He works tirelessly every day on the training pitch and he showed his quality today. We’re blessed with goalkeepers but [there is] no problem using Joe at any time and as I say, repeating myself, you saw his quality all afternoon today.”
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