QPR boss makes confession after second-half fightback sends Millwall packing

BY NICK KITUNO

Mark Warburton admitted he almost changed Queens Park Rangers’ formation at half-time as they dramatically fought back from two goals down to beat Millwall 3-2.

Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett’s first-half goals gave the Lions a lead going into the break, but Charlie Austin pulled one back for the R’s before Stefan Johansen levelled.

Jordy de Wijs completed the comeback with five minutes to go as QPR moved back up to 12th in the Championship table and level on points with Millwall with 10 games remaining.

Warburton said he didn’t rate his side’s first-half “in any shape or form,” adding they were fortunate to only go into the break two goals down.

Shaun Hutchinson could only fire wide from close-range following a free-kick before Seny Dieng denied Bennet in a one-on-one.

He said: “We fully deserved to be two down, as I say it could have easily been more. Only a couple of chances from long throws but we just looked so far off of our normal level, played like a group of boys in the first half but a group of men in the second half.

“In the end, to show that desire and character, and to create that many chances, against a Millwall defence that give away very, very few chances against most of the teams in the division, the players deserve so much credit.”

Millwall led after just five minutes when Ryan Woods’ through ball allowed Jed Wallace to split the QPR defence and slot the ball into the far corner.

The Lions doubled their advantage, when Bennett acrobatically scored from a Jake Cooper flick-on seven minutes from the break, but could have been three goals up given the chances they had.

Rangers found themselves on the comeback trail when Geoff Cameron’s early cross was guided in by Austin after 51 minutes.

Then, a sweeping move saw Lyndon Dykes tee up Lee Wallace on the overlap, whose cutback was eventually put away by Johansen on 67 minutes.

With five minutes of normal time remaining, QPR completed their comeback when De Wijs’ looping header from an Ilias Chair corner nestled into the far corner of the net. It was his first goal for the club, since joining on loan from Hull City until the end of the season, and first since July 2020.

“I think we obviously had a few words, which is fairly obvious. I’ve got to put my hand up and be honest, I thought about changing the formation at half-time, then I thought I’d leave it five minutes and see how we turned up, then I was about to make the subs and we scored.

“Then I was about to make the subs again and we scored a second goal. Poor old Gavin Ward was rewriting the substitutions cards time and time again, but it was that type of game in the second half.

“To come back in that fashion, [we] showed a lot of desire, a lot of commitment, and as I say I take huge belief from that performance.”

 


 

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