QPR boss on formation change, Shodipo’s absence, squad depth and more

QPR manager Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton praised his players after QPR beat Bristol City on penalties to reach the second round of the Carabao Cup. Here’s some of what the Rangers boss said after the game.

On the formation change

“It was just a case of looking at personnel. Josh Scowen had been used in an attacking position, so he was in his more familiar deeper role. We were OK. We looked good.”

On Olamide Shodipo’s absence

“He had a knock in training, that was all.”

On Lee Wallace’s fitness

“Lee’s on the training park. He’s missed pre-season, so we have to get him fit.

“Lee’s a very, very talented player. When you’ve played at the level he’s played at and played in the games he’s played in, he’ll bring a real quality to the squad.”

On Ryan Manning

“Ryan Manning has grabbed the shirt. He’s stepped up, taken the shirt, really staked a claim and done outstandingly well.

“I like the fact that he plays with a smile on his face. He’s enjoying what he’s doing. He’s a young player with a real, strong, technical base and good physicality and athleticism – and he enjoys his football.

“I’m delighted to see him do well and delighted with his contribution to the team. Lee knows he doesn’t get that shirt back easily.”

On his selection for Saturday’s league game at City

“They had numerous changes and so did we. Maybe we change back, maybe we don’t. Maybe we change formation, maybe we don’t. That’s the game of chess.

“It’s what you get paid for. It’s a nice problem to have. It’s a problem because players are desperate to start.

“Some won’t even get on the bench who deserve to be. There are some guys who won’t get in the 18 who I could quite comfortably play.

“That’s the nature of a good squad and no injuries. You pick the team and hope you get it right.”

On Rangers’ transfer business

“If you’re grabbing at players, ones you’re not sure about and think ‘I don’t really want him but I’ll take him anyway’ then you’re in trouble.

“I have absolute belief in the players we’ve brought in. We got a lot of early work done, getting players in at the start of pre-season, which is a huge plus.

“If you can get your business done early then you’re in a really good position. We did that. A lot of work went in. We missed out on one.

“I think you’ve seen the players bed in. They understand how we want to play, which is important. We’re not bringing in players who are completely alien to this way we want to play football.

“Marc Pugh gets it. Dom Ball gets it. Lee Wallace gets it. All these guys get it. Luke Amos and Matt Smith get it.

“It was a big revolution in terms of the players coming in but I think you’ve seen that they’ve settled in really well.”

On Liam Kelly’s debut

“He’s a good keeper and he wasn’t bought to be a number two.

“Liam wants the shirt. They (Kelly and Joe Lumley) get on great and the camaraderie is great. But Liam wants to be number one and Joe wants to be number one.

“It’s great for a manager to have two top-class goalkeepers vying like that.

“You saw Liam; his distribution is top drawer. I’m delighted for him. The QPR fans have seen how good Liam can be.”

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