BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton has explained why he started Osman Kakay at centre-back against Huddersfield Town, insisting the decision was “purely tactical”.
The full-back replaced Jordy de Wijs in Queens Park Rangers’ back three for the 1-0 defeat to the Terriers, which proved to be Kakay’s first start since December 12.
De Wijs, who has joined QPR on loan from Hull City until the end of the season, has impressed in his first couple of games for the Hoops but watched on from the bench this time.
Warburton said: “We felt the last time [we played Huddersfield], if you remember the away game, and you watched them recently, [Fraizer] Campbell drops in to create the overload in midfield. That’s what they do very well.
“We wanted someone to go in and mark him and that was Ossie’s [Osman Kakay] job, to go in there and be tight to him, and he never really threatened us. That was the idea.
“Nothing against Jordy, Jordy’s been excellent in the two games that he’s played, Geoff [Cameron] likewise before that, it was just using the squad and Ossie did a good job for us.
“It was just purely tactical from our point of view.”
Asked whether it is something he may look to do again in future, Warburton added “if we think it’s the right thing to do, we’ll do it.
“We didn’t want a big centre-half be dragged into midfield there, Ossie is far more mobile. He’s quick, he’s strong and it was the right game for Ossie to do that.
“As I say, [it’s] no reflection on Jordy, he’s been very, very promising in the first two games, really pleased with his performances, it’s using the squad. Whether it’s Geoff, whether it’s Jordy, whether it’s Ossie, Rob [Dickie], Yoann [Barbet], Dom [Ball], it’s just using the squad and we had a very strong bench today as well.
“That’s all the more frustrating for us.”
The Rangers boss was also asked about Tom Carroll, who has been unavailable since early January. The midfielder, who joined QPR on a one-year deal last September, suffered a knee injury their 2-0 victory over Luton Town which required surgery.
Warburton appeared encouraged by the progress Carroll has made since the injury but added there is further work still to do.
He said: “He had the operation, so he’s still some weeks away, but he’s working hard with the medical team, he’s getting fitter. It’s great to see him with a brace off and back in the gym, but he’s got to do the work that’s required to get back.
“For me, it’s preseason and seeing a fit Tom Carroll.”
TOP PHOTO: SEAN GOSLING
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