Mark Warburton refuses to answer why goalkeeper Joe Lumley was left out of QPR squad for Norwich match

BY NICK KITUNO

Mark Warburton would not be drawn into why Joe Lumley was left out of the squad for Queens Park Rangers’ 3-1 defeat at home to Norwich City.

Lumley, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was replaced by Joe Walsh on the substitutes bench as Seny Dieng started in goal again following his suspension.

The 26-year-old was brought on against Middlesbrough to help see out a 2-1 win at The Riverside Stadium, before earning a clean sheet in an impressive 1-0 victory away to promotion-chasing Swansea City.

Despite his performances earning plaudits, reports have linked Lumley with a move away from QPR as his current deal comes to an end.

Warburton said: “It was just a decision I made yesterday, no more than that. I had a couple discussions [with him] and I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Asked whether he will be left out of Rangers’ remaining two games, away to Stoke City and at home to Luton Town on the final day of the season, he added: “I imagine we’ll find out at 1.45pm next Saturday.

“Not being evasive but I have to be evasive.”

Lumley joined QPR after being released by Tottenham Hotspur as a teenager. The shotstopper had several loan spells before playing 42 times in their 2018-19 Championship campaign.

His game time dipped the following year, however, as he fought for the number one shirt with Liam Kelly, who had joined from Scottish side Livingston that summer.

Lumley started the first two games of this season before being loaned out to Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers as an emergency goalkeeper. He returned in January before starting his first game back in a 3-0 victory over Coventry City on 2 April.

Meanwhile, Warburton admitted his decision to bring off George Thomas at half-time was a “tactical” one.

He said: “I’ve been very, very pleased with George [Thomas], his performances over the last three, four, five games, the way he’s trained. Any player would be disappointed if they were substituted at half-time, but you tell them the truth.

“It was a tactical change. Stef [Johansen] was isolated in midfield, we were giving their front three, four, too much time and space, and we had to get tighter and get another body in there.

“Second half, we looked much, much better. Much more solid and compact, and we posed them problems.”

 


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