Ryan Manning has received his first call-up for the Republic of Ireland and his boss admits he simply cannot drop him to accommodate ex-Glasgow Rangers skipper Lee Wallace, because he is doing so well, writes Yann Tear.
Manning, 23, has been a revelation this year at left back and has been invited to join Mick McCarthy’s squad for a friendly against New Zealand on November 14 and a Euro qualifier against Denmark four days later.
Summer signing Wallace is “more than ready for action” according to the QPR boss, who recruited him because of his proven fighting qualities and experience.
But so far, the 32-year-old has not featured for the first team, having arrived carrying a hip injury. But although now fit and raring to go, the Scot must wait for his chance.
“Lee Wallace is more than ready, but if I bring him in at left back, I move Ryan Manning, who has been outstanding,” Warburton said after Monday night’s 3-1 home defeat to Brentford.
“Lee’s an outstanding player but he’s got to bide his time because it wouldn’t be fair to move Ryan who again put in a tremendous shift.
“You’ve got to be fair with players and consistent, whether they’re 18 or 38 and at the moment, Ryan’s making it really hard to change the shirt.”
Warburton should have Jordan Hugill back for Saturday’s trip to Leeds United – the striker having been forced to miss this week’s game because of yellow card accumulations.
But it remains to be seen whether Yoann Barbet can return from the muscle tightness he experienced in training which ruled him out of playing against his former club on Monday.
At least Grant Hall has recovered from injury and he made a scoring return in the loss to the Bees.
“Grant’s been out for a few weeks and he’s come back in and done a very good job for us,” Warburton said.
The R’s boss felt Bright Osayi-Samuel shone in the absence of Hugill, even if he will be pleased to have options at Elland Road.
“I thought he was very sharp,” Warburton said. “Jordan gives you his qualities – his goals, his experience, his power up top and his clever link-up play. Brighty gives you pace and power and you saw that on several occasions.”
Leeds are promotion favourites and in theory this weekend will be one of the toughest assignments of the season for the Hoops.
But Warburton said: “They’re all tricky games. Show me the easy one. There’s not an easy game home or away because the league is so strong and so demanding and you have to be right for every single game.”
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