BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton has defended his side as Queens Park Rangers search for their first win in four games.
Rangers’ 1-1 draw with Millwall at The Den halted a run of three consecutive defeats but leaves them without a win in four. Ilias Chair fired QPR into the lead early into the second half before substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson pegged the visitors back just six minutes into coming on from the bench.
The R’s have won just one of their last seven league games, a 3-2 victory against Rotherham United, and are 18th in the Championship.
Promotion-chasing Reading visit the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this weekend and Warburton insists his young Rangers side deserves a “lot of credit”.
Asked about QPR’s recent form following the Millwall draw, he said: “You can come out with something positive if you want to. Please feel free to come out with anything positive if you like. The fact is they have come here, it’s a young team building, we have got one of the smallest budgets in the league.
“There’s a lot of guys here playing in teams with much bigger budgets [than QPR], you go to teams with players on multiples of the salaries [we have] and the boys are learning the trade and standing up.
“They deserve a lot of credit for that. It’s about being positive.
“To come to Millwall – which is a tough place, to come to Millwall, and they hadn’t won in eight – they are going to be really hard to beat. Gary’s [Rowett] teams are going to be really organised, hard-working and very professional – we had to deal with that. For the majority of the time, we did tonight.
“I hear you, but we could also say it’s a good point on the road, and we look forward to hopefully getting a good performance against Reading at the weekend.”
Warburton took charge in May 2019 and led QPR to a 13th-placed finish in last season’s lockdown-hit campaign. It was their best since 2015-16.
QPR are without some of the key players who helped get them there – Ebere Eze, Jordan Hugill and Nahki Wells accounted for a significant proportion of their goals output – but Warburton believes his young team deserves praise for how they have reacted.
He added: “Last year, they came from what was it, 12th or 13th? Six, seven places higher, with a budget cut by 50 per cent, and the boys deserve an awful lot of credit. Hopefully, they carry that on and see where they are.
“You win two or three games in this division, you go from 17th, 18th to seventh or eighth very, very quickly. Hopefully we can do that.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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