Warnock: Ferdinand can flourish at QPR

QPR boss Neil Warnock believes he and his backroom team can turn Anton Ferdinand into a top defender.

Ferdinand, 26, was once touted as an even better prospect than his brother Rio, but his performances for both West Ham and Sunderland attracted criticism.

It means the player has something to prove following his pre-deadline return to the capital from Wearside, where his first-team place was under threat prior to his move to Rangers.

“He’s still got a lot to learn. He could be a better player. He has all the attributes, but in certain situations he has been lacking defensive qualities,” said Warnock.

“I think we can put that into his game. Keith Curle and Mick Jones worked very hard with the back four last season and we had the best defensive record in the country.

“We have scope to make Anton a better player. At times he’s not defensively minded and in the past has taken too many chances, and that is something that he can learn from.

“I hope he does learn, because he’s got everything – he’s quick, strong and good in the air. He’s got all that you need in a centre-back.”

Ferdinand is expected to make his R’s debut against Newcastle on Monday, and striker DJ Campbell will also be in the squad following a mystery virus that had the club’s medical staff puzzled.

Campbell was unwell for three weeks and underwent a number of tests, all of which failed to reveal what the problem was.

“DJ really has struggled with it – he’s been in a bad way,” Warnock revealed.

“He went through all sorts of tests and nothing showed up. But he’s been feeling better and will be in the squad.”