Warburton: QPR youngster Masterson learned a lot in Birmingham game

Mark Warburton believes QPR defender Conor Masterson will have learned a lot from a tough battle against Birmingham City on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 centre-back was brought into the starting line-up at the last minute after captain Grant Hall was injured in the warm-up.

Masterson had his work cut out up against Scott Hogan, who scored twice in the 2-2 draw, and Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Masterson has impressed since breaking into the first team this season, although he was at fault for Hogan’s opening goal.

But Rangers boss Warburton was still more than satisfied with the youngster’s performance.

Warburton said: “It was a fantastic learning experience. The young player stepped up against Jutkiewicz, who is a handful for any centre-half, and with Scott Hogan’s movement, for Conor it was a really good learning experience.

QPR manager Mark Warburton
Warburton was pleased with Masterson’s display

“In general he had a really good game. He was comfortable in possession, won his headers and was communicating well.

“Unfortunately, that error is how you learn. That’s the only way any of us learn.

“He’s a really talented young player and he’ll get better and better with the more experience he gets.”

‘Mid-table obscurity’ for QPR?

Hogan’s late equaliser denied Rangers a win which would have taken them into the top half of the Championship and seven rather than nine points away from the play-off places.

They are currently 14th in the table but Warburton believes the season is shaping into a relatively successful one in light of the club’s financial restrictions.

He said: “I read that we’re ‘drifting in mid-table obscurity’. If this team comes 12th or 10th, is that a bad season for QPR?

“You’ve got one of the lowest budgets and a young team working their socks off.”