Warburton backs Dykes as striker waits for first QPR goal from open play

QPR boss Mark Warburton believes it’s only a matter of time until Lyndon Dykes scores from open play.

Dykes converted a penalty in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Rotherham – becoming the first player since Terry Venables in 1970 to score his first four goals for the club from the 12-yard spot.

Venables went on to score nine spot-kicks before finding the net from open play, but Warburton is confident the Scotland striker won’t equal the record of the the man who went on to become one of QPR’s greatest managers.

He said: “I hope very much there will be a few more from open play and I am sure there will, he is a very talented player but as long as the ball hits the back of the net I don’t care.

“But it’s not a worry because he is working so hard. He allows the likes of Ilias, Brighty, Chrissy Willock and Albert Adomah to play.

“He has got great movement is a willing worker and will get better and better. He still has loads of development to come.”

Rangers have converted all nine penalties awarded to them since Warburton took control last year – which is only three less than the number of times a spot-kick was given in their favour between November 2016 and May 2019.

In that period, only seven of the 12 were successful and Warburton said he appreciates the importance to his team of a reliable penalty taker following the exit of Ebere Eze, who scored four times from the spot last season.

“I don’t want to jinx it and have two penalties missed in the next game,” Warburton said.

“But it’s not easy, I read the other day that a team has missed 16 out of 31 or something and it’s hard with very talented and physical goalkeepers and the pressure of a moment.

“But it is nice to have someone putting the ball in the back of the net and Lyndon has done very well from that side of things and long may in continue.”