BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton reckons this season will be big for Ilias Chair as he takes on QPR’s number 10 jersey from the departed Eberechi Eze.
The attacking midfielder took that squad number, which had been vacated when Eze left for Crystal Palace.
Chair’s first game in the jersey was a success, as he scored in injury time to help Queens Park Rangers to a 2-0 opening day win over promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest.
Although Warburton admitted the decision was not taken lightly, he insists Chair understands the responsibility that comes with the shirt.
He said: “It is a big season for him, having gone out on loan to Stevenage and done very well. That’s the path the young players have got to take. They are not being forgotten or left by the wayside, they have got to go and learn the game.
“Ilias has gone out to Stevenage [and] we had 10 calls for him. When I first came in, in the first week, [people were saying], ‘Can I take Ilias? Can I take Ilias? Can I take Ilias?’ That tells you he has done well. He impressed a lot of people.
“Last year we had to use him as and when, six games, pull him out, rest him for four, five, that type. Now I agree with you it’s a big season for him because he’s got some boots to fill.
“He wants the [number] 10 shirt, which at a club like QPR is a big shirt. That wasn’t given lightly, there was a lot of conversation about that, so he wants that responsibility, but he’s aware that with responsibility comes accountability.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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