QPR boss outlines goalkeeping battle

BY NICK KITUNO

Mark Warburton admits he could face a selection headache in goal this season as his three first-team shot stoppers battle for the number one jersey.

Joe Lumley retained his place for Queens Park Rangers’ 2-0 opening day win over Nottingham Forest as Liam Kelly (pictured above) on the bench. Seny Dieng, who was out on loan to Doncaster Rovers last campaign, was not in the squad.

Both Lumley and Kelly faced criticism over their performances during a season in which Rangers shipped 76 games in the Championship, but Dieng’s return could add further pressure on the starting spot.

While Warburton praised Lumley’s display against Forest, he added all three are determined to become QPR’s number one during the “long” campaign ahead.

He said: “I never rotated for the sake of rotating. When Joe started the season last year, because that was right from the previous season before I got here, he did very well for long periods, played those games, had a tough period. There were two or three games and then I made the change.

“You can’t just drop a goalkeeper because he drops a ball, it’s a difficult position.

“I made a change, Liam did really well, pulled a quad, out for six to eight weeks. Joe came back in, same thing. You use your goalkeepers.

“This year, we’re blessed to have Seny come back, who is a very, very talented goalkeeper. I’m using the word problematic because you’ve got three very, very talented goalkeepers. All of whom are pushing for number one, all of whom have trained outstandingly well in pre-season.

“I’m not just saying that loosely, they have been superb because they are competitive athletes and they all want the jersey.

“Today was the start of a long campaign but I have no doubt about the impact of Liam and I have no doubt about the impact of Seny Dieng as well.”

PHOTO: KEITH GILLARD


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