Warburton backs players after first QPR defeat

Bristol City 2 QPR 0

Mark Warburton backed his players after QPR’s first defeat since he took over as manager.

Joe Lumley was guilty of an appalling error as Warburton’s side were beaten at Ashton Gate, where Bristol City took the lead somewhat against the run of play 10 minutes before half-time.

Jack Hunt’s cross was headed out by Grant Hall as far as Adam Nagy, who sent a half-volley beyond Lumley and into the net.

Rangers were still well in the game until Angel Rangel’s throw-in back to his keeper led to a second Robins goal just before the hour mark.

Lumley’s daft attempt to volley the ball forward resulted in him kicking it straight to Andreas Weimann, who teed up Benik Afobe to score.

But Warburton insisted he has seen enough positive signs this season to feel encouraged.

“Individual errors have cost us, but I felt we were very good for periods of the first half,” he said.

“I am happy with the way the players have taken on ideas. They have shown their quality in every game this season without always getting what they deserved.”

However, Warburton knows he now faces a major decision.

He brought in Liam Kelly this summer precisely because he wanted a keeper comfortable with the ball at his feet.

The nature of Lumley’s blunder, coming days after Kelly impressed against the same opposition in the Carabao Cup, means his place is now surely under serious threat.

The all-important second goal came less than a minute after Warburton made an attacking change, replacing Matt Smith with Ilias Chair, who had an effort saved by former Brentford keeper Dan Bentley as QPR tried to reduce the deficit.

Bentley had earlier produced a fine save to deny Jordan Hugill.

QPR: Lumley; Rangel (Kane 65), Hall, Barbet, Manning; Cameron, Smith (Chair 59), Osayi-Samuel, Amos, Eze (Wells 65); Hugill.
Subs not used: Kelly, Kane, Leistner, Ball, Pugh, Wells.