QPR boss Warburton backs Wallace

Mark Warburton has backed Lee Wallace, insisting the Scot has played a key role in QPR’s recent improved defending.

Wallace, who played under boss Warburton at Glasgow Rangers and was brought to west London by him last year, gave away two penalties during the recent 2-0 defeat against Preston.

There was more disappointment for him when he limped off injured during the goalless draw against Birmingham.

He was replaced by Niko Hamalainen, who was recently given a new four-year contract by the club.

Warburton points out that Wallace was part of a defence which kept two clean sheets this season prior to Saturday’s stalemate and that other players were also at fault for the penalties being conceded against Preston.

Scott Sinclair was surrounded before being tripped by Wallace, while Rob Dickie failed to clear the danger in the build-up to the second spot-kick.

“The clean sheets have been with the same back four,” Warburton said.

“There were two penalties the other night, but the back four itself limited the goalkeeper to one save in two games.

“We made two mistakes as a team. Head the second one and don’t allow the guy to get in the box for the first one.

“In terms of Lee, I’m very happy with the way he communicates, the way he works and his quality.”

Wallace is expected to miss out against Barnsley on Tuesday, with Hamalainen standing by for only his second league start for the R’s.

Warburton said: “Lee got a nasty knock and Niko is more than capable of playing.

“Niko came on and did a good job. It’s difficult coming into that type of game.

“I’m pleased for Niko. I’ve got no problem with using him or Lee.”