Warnock ready to unleash Taarabt

QPR boss Neil Warnock cannot wait to unleash Adel Taarabt on the Premier League.

The Moroccan will captain Rangers in Saturday’s opener against Bolton and Warnock has challenged him to prove he can cut it at the top level.

Taarabt spent much of the summer believing he would leave Loftus Road, but there were no takers in England and a proposed move to French side Paris St Germain did not materialise.

As a result, the player’s fitness is not at the level it was this time last year. But Warnock insists Taarabt is still capable of making an impact.

Warnock said: “He’s a week or 10 days behind as he missed a chunk of pre-season because of the talks with PSG.

“But I’m just glad he’s still here and I want to see now what he can do in the Premier League. I believe he has the ability.

“He also takes the limelight away from some of my other players. I’ve got three or four who can also score goals, but I think sometimes other teams take their eye off them.”

“I’m quite proud of the squad we’ve got today given that 14 months ago we were rudderless, really.”

For the third pre-season in a row, Taarabt chased a move only to end up at Rangers when reported interest from top clubs came to nothing.

It justified Warnock’s confidence that no Premier League manager would be interested in signing the former Tottenham man.

Warnock added:  “This is the only club for him in England. It’s a question of whether someone from abroad comes in for him. I don’t think that will happen, simply because he hasn’t proved himself.

“In that sense, at the moment he’s a very good Championship player. I think he’s got the ability to be more – I just want to see him produce it as part of a team structure.

“I don’t think he’ll ever change, but what he is learning is what we expect from him in certain situations. He’ll certainly excite people, that’s for sure.

“We will have games where we get turned over – where Adel loses possession and we concede. But there’ll be other days when we defend well and break well. We want to make sure we have more good days than bad.”

Warnock missed out on some of his transfer targets

Eyebrows have been raised at Rangers’ perceived lack of activity in the transfer market since winning promotion from the Championship.

But Warnock, who is keen to sign Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand on loan before the transfer deadline, believes his side can be competitive in the top flight.

“I’m quite proud of the squad we’ve got today given that 14 months ago we were rudderless, really. We had five or six on loan,” he said.

“With the players we’ve got, plus one or two coming in before the deadline, I think we’ve got a good squad.

“If you’d told me at the start of the summer we’d sign Kieron Dyer, Jay Bothroyd and Danny Gabbidon on frees, I’d have snapped your hand off. And I think the fee we paid for DJ Campbell [£1.25m] is shrewd from our point of view.

“The thing is, they’ve all got something to prove. Danny has, while Jay wants to get in the England squad again I know DJ would love a call-up and really wants to do well at QPR because it’s his club.

“As for Kieron, I’m delighted to have got him. People ask if he’s fit – he’s been fit since around Christmas, but various things get said about him.

“It’s not about money for him. From the contracts he’s had, he’s financially secure. He just wants to prove a point. Come here at half-eight in the morning and Kieron Dyer is the first one here and then the last one to leave.”