Warburton admits his QPR future is uncertain

QPR boss Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton has described reports he is on the verge of losing his job as “disrespectful” and unsettling for his players – but admits he is unsure whether he will be at QPR beyond the end of the season, when his contract expires.

Rangers’ defeat against Fulham on Saturday – their third loss in a row and fifth in six matches – led to speculation that manager Warburton could be sacked.

The team’s awful run has seen them fall from the thick of the promotion race to ninth in the Championship table.

The QPR hierarchy have no plans to part with Warburton before the end of the season, but his future beyond then is unclear.

He was given an improved – but not longer – deal in August last year, so his contract is still due to expire in the summer. There have been no talks about an extension.

Warburton is keen to stay in the job, but there is every chance he will be replaced if Rangers fail to make the play-offs.

“We’re in a results industry and speculation will come out. You can’t control that, unfortunately,” Warburton said.

“The simple fact is that I’ve got a contract here until the end of the season. My job is to get the best out of the team.

“I don’t want to come across as a cliche-laden football manager, but everything is committed towards getting the best out of this team over the next seven, hopefully 10 games, to take us to where we want to get to.

“That’s the focus. Then we’ll see what happens in the summer.

“The truth is that I’ve got a contract here to the end of the season and I’m hoping very much I’ve got 10 games left as QPR manager to get us to where we want to get to.

“If we have a really good season and achieve what we want to achieve then hopefully there’s an opportunity to extend that.

“Our focus is the next seven league games and hopefully the three ensuing games to get us to where we want to get to.

“That is our sole aim. If, beyond that, there’s no opportunity, then that’s football and what happens happens.

“But right now my focus is solely to get the job done with QPR.”

Warburton insisted his squad deserve credit for being in the promotion race this season despite the club’s relatively modest budget.

And he revealed that several players have sought assurances from him following reports he is on the verge of being sacked.

Warburton said: “You have to have a thick skin in football. If you haven’t then you’ve got no chance in this game.

“Is it disappointing? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. It is annoying? Yes, absolutely.

“The players deserve such credit for where we’ve been all season and then we dip out of it and get this.

“It is, I think, somewhat premature and somewhat disrespectful, but we can’t control that.

“It is difficult, because my Saturday night was spent fielding phone calls on the back of stories coming out.

“Then you have players coming in. We have a good relationship with the players – I have enormous respect for each player and I think they know that and it’s reciprocated.

“I had players asking the obvious questions. It’s unsettling for them.

“The players deserve enormous credit for being in the top six all season with a budget way below halfway in the Championship.”