Warburton thanks ‘outstanding’ QPR fans

QPR manager Mark Warburton thanked the club’s fans for the warm reception they gave him in his final home match in charge.

His team were beaten 3-1 by Sheffield United at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where the visitors hit back after Charlie Austin’s first-half opener.

A horrendous run of results cost Rangers a play-off place – and Warburton his job. He is not being retained when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Warburton said: “The crowd have been fantastic. It’s very gratefully received and never taken for granted.

“For three years they’ve been outstanding. The support they’ve given us has been first class throughout and I can only speak with the highest praise for QPR fans.

“A manager’s job is to leave a club in a better place. I’m very happy with the reception from the fans and the comments that they’ve made which suggests they are happy with the progress made.”

Warburton expressed some frustration that his players only heard about his axing when it was announced by the club on Thursday.

“The first people who should have found out should have been the players,” he said.

“Myself and the staff have a very close relationship with them. They have to be shown respect and trust and they reciprocate.

“So it’s very difficult when that comes out. There were a lot of phone calls last night, which you have to try and fend off but you also have to be honest with them.

“It was difficult. I’m not going to lie. But it’s football and we have to learn from it and we have to move on. That’s gone now.”

Rangers’ injury problems have been a major factor in their slump down the Championship table.

And he reacted angrily to being asked to explain his team’s collapse.

He said: “We had no Lee Wallace. No Rob Dickie. No Moses Odubajo. We had no Chris Willock. No Seny Dieng. No David Marshall.

“You’re asking me to explain it and I’m trying to keep my temper.

“Come on. We’ve had the whole back line and five goalkeepers out and you’re saying to me ‘How can I explain it?’ I can explain it in one sentence.”