‘Approachable…but can rant and rave’ – how Warburton has bucked the trend of managerial failure at QPR

QPR manager Mark Warburton

It’s been 17 years since QPR last awarded a new contract to a manager.

Mark Warburton, who has guided Rangers to 13th and ninth place finishes in the Championship since his arrival in May 2019, is the first manager since Ian Holloway during his first spell in charge to be given a new deal.

Thirteen permanent managers and nine caretaker bosses have been through the doors of Loftus Road since Holloway’s exit in February 2006, with former Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Glasgow Rangers boss Warburton’s hands-on approach paying dividends with a largely youthful squad who boast genuine play-off aspirations following a fine second half to last season.

In addition to the team playing some eye-catching football and improving immeasurably away from home with 15 wins on the road in two seasons – one more than was achieved in the previous three years – young players have flourished under his management.

Ebere Eze, Ryan Manning and Bright Osayi-Samuel all played their best football for QPR under Warburton before being sold, and in Chris Willock, Ilias Chair and Rob Dickie the club have three young players who have all developed into high class Championship players.

Players such as Dom Ball, Yoann Barbet and Lee Wallace have all noticeably improved since first joining the club when Warburton replaced Steve McClaren in May 2019.

While the Rangers boss comes across as a calm and measured individual, he is also a hugely hands-on manager who oversees every training session and believes in working daily with players at Harlington.

But his calm exterior masks a ruthless streak as demonstrated by the banishing of Todd Kane from the first-team squad following an interview in which he made disparaging remarks about teammate Osman Kakay.

Niko Hamalainen, 12 months after being awarded a four-year contract, is also on the outer having struggled last season in the left-wing back spot and now finds himself without even a squad number for the 2021/22 season.

Recent Rangers signing Moses Odubajo knows Warburton better than most, having been signed by him at Brentford in 2014 before being reunited with his former boss.

Odubajo says Warburton’s desire to work with players to make them better is what singles him out from many other managers.

“He is the only manager I know that is hands-on in taking training day in day out,” Odubajo explained.

QPR: Moses Odubajo
Odubajo has impressed during pre-season

“It’s good, I enjoy that. He’s putting the session on, making sure they are done right because normally it’s the assistants or the first-team coaches that take the sessions.

“It means he is seeing everything and not just what happens during a match, so players know they can’t slack off.

“Sometimes the drills can be a bit complicated and you need to go over them a few times round before you get it, but it is part of the job of a footballer – you have to adapt.

“His door is open for a chat and he is very approachable but he is certainly someone who can rant and rave if standards do slip.

“But if you want to be successful you can’t let those standards slip and I think as players we all know that.”

Permanent QPR managers since 2006 who have not seen out or extended their contracts

Steve McClaren – May 2018 – Apr 2019
Ian Holloway – Nov 2016 – May 2018
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – Dec 2015 – Nov 2016
Chris Ramsey – Feb 2015 – Nov 2015
Harry Redknapp – Dec 2012 – Feb 2015
Mark Hughes – Jan 2012 – Nov 2012
Neil Warnock – Mar 2010 – Jan 2012
Jim Magilton – June 2009 – Nov 2009
Paulo Sousa – Nov 2008 – April 2009
Iain Dowie – May 2008 – Nov 2008
Luigi De Canio – Oct 2007 – May 2008
John Gregory – Sep 2006 – Oct 2007
Gary Waddock – Feb 2006 – Sept 2006