BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton has praised Seny Dieng’s “impressive” debut after the goalkeeper made his first Queens Park Rangers appearance in a 1-1 draw at home with Middlesbrough.
The shotstopper was picked ahead of Joe Lumley and Liam Kelly as Bright Osayi-Samuel helped Rangers fight back from a goal down following Chuba Akpom’s opener.
Dieng spent the last few seasons out on loan since joining from German outfit MSV Duisberg in 2016, but has since committed his future with the club with a new four-year deal.
Warburton said: “I was very impressed with Seny. I’ve only seen Seny in this condensed pre-season. He had presence, his handling was good, I felt he punched it well under pressure.
“Distribution is obvious – he can throw it and he can release it – but he reassured the back four as well so he must be very pleased with his contribution today.”
Lumley is one of several QPR players whose contracts expire next summer but Warburton denied that was the reasoning behind his decision to not keep him in the squad. Liam Kelly, who joined the club from Scottish side Livingston last year, made the bench instead.
He added: “I said the last time after the [Nottingham] Forest game that we have different players at different stages of contract discussions. My selection, my squad, will always reflect that.
“Also, players cannot be distracted by various things, so I have got to pick what I think is the right squad and that was the right squad today.
“Liam, again, was very close [to being selected]. We’re blessed to have three, high quality ‘keepers. He was disappointed not to play, I’m sure, but he’s pushing really hard in training. Likewise Seny, likewise Joe.
“We are very fortunate in that respect but I’ve got to pick what is right at the time. Today Seny was the choice and [I was] very pleased with him.
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