BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton has insisted his withdrawal of Andre Dozzell and George Thomas before half-time bore “no reflection” on them as Queens Park Rangers rescued a dramatic point against Barnsley.
The pair were handed their first competitive league starts of the season at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, but came off just 34 minutes in as Barnsley took a two-goal lead.
Dominik Frieser fired past Seny Dieng for the lead on 14 minutes before Cauley Woodrow grabbed his 50th goal for the club later in the first half.
QPR reacted quickly, sending on Albert Adomah and Dom Ball, and turned the momentum into their favour as Ilias Chair pulled one back before Charlie Austin made it 2-2 in stoppage time.
Warburton said: “It’s no reflection of Andre or George, who have been excellent since the first day of pre-season, but we had to change it and they were the two of the subs. It could have been a number of people, but they were the two.
“We had to change it, mix it up. In the second half you saw a far more composed performance. We looked on the front foot, we stepped in, took care of the football, and in the end could maybe even have won it.
“Any player is going to be disappointed. When you get subbed on half an hour, in front of an expectant stadium at home after two good away results, you’re going to feel lower than a snake’s belly. But you speak to them, and you make it clear by speaking to you guys [journalists] as well, that it’s not about the individual. As a team, we were poor. We had to change it, we had to take care of the football.”
QPR were forced into another change earlier than expected as Jordy de Wijs suffered a knock to his ankle. Jimmy Dunne was brought on to replace him and twice went close from two Stefan Johansen set-pieces.
Warburton said: “Around the pitch, second half, we were much better. We were good, we created chances, there was a reaction save from their ‘keeper [Bradley Collins] from the corner, Jimmy [Dunne] just missed his first touch, and we looked a completely different outfit in the second period.”
PICTURE: ROB AVIS
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