Mark Warburton celebrated his 100th game in charge of QPR with a hard-fought win over Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Rob Dickie scored his second goal in as many games this season to give the R’s a first-half lead against the League Two outfit.
But Kenny Jackett’s side equalised through Aaron Drinan in the second half and forced the game to penalties with Albert Adomah scoring the winning spot-kick to send Rangers into the next round, where they will face Oxford United.
It caps a pretty good few days for Warburton, who put pen to paper on a new contract at Loftus Road last week with the 58-year old previously on a one-year rolling deal.
On Saturday he saw his side draw 1-1 at home to Millwall in their opening game of the Championship season with fans seemingly willing to give their manager time.
“I’m sure I speak for all Rangers’ fans when I say we have faith in him this season,” Ben from W12 Podcast tells FansBet.
“However, it’s a different kind of expectation this season, and that comes with added pressure that he and the players need to deal with.
“It’s important to remember that he was a game or two away from the sack back in January. Had it not been for the club signing 4 loan players, it could well have happened.”
This season is QPR’s seventh in the Championship and their third under the current boss.
Warburton was appointed as manager in May 2019 and has guided the West Londoners to 13th and ninth-place finishes during his two campaigns, while also improving several younger players including Ebere Eze, who has since moved to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
And Ben believes there are definite signs of progress under the former Brentford, Rangers and Nottingham Forest boss.
“Warburton is known to be fairly stubborn in his approach but switching to 3-4-3 from 5-3-2 has been vital to our turnaround. It suits our players and we’ve signed others who fit into that formation perfectly,” he says.
“He has also been instrumental in the development of some of our talents. Ebere Eze said himself how much Warburton helped develop his game while Ilias Chair has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12-18 months.
“Osman Kakay was written off by everyone, but is now an excellent squad player and Rob Dickie is now arguably the best centre-back in the league. We have some talent knocking on the door too, who will come through in the coming year or so.”
As well as an abundance of young talent already at the club, The Rs have been pretty active in the transfer market this summer also as they look to gain promotion back to the Premier League for the first time since 2015.
After successful loan spells at the club, Jordy de Wijs (Hull), West From duo Sam Field and Charlie Austin, and influential midfielder Stefan Johansen (Fulham) were all purchased on permanent deals – the latter arriving for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region £630k.
Defensive midfielder Andre Dozzell joins from League One Ipswich Town in a £1m move, while experienced heads Moses Odubajo and Jordan Archer have been recruited on free transfers.
Club legend Austin, 31, initially played for the club from 2013 until 2016 before joining Southampton and then West Brom in 2019.
He helped The Baggies secure a return to the Premier League but then re-joined QPR on loan back in January.
“Bringing in Jordy de Wijs, Sam Field, Stefan Johansen and Charlie Austin was everyone’s wish,” explains Ben.
“They transformed us coming in on loan in January as we went from 19th to within a game or two of the playoffs.
“They give the spine of the team some real stability and toughness that we miss every season, and not to mention experience too. How Fulham let Johansen go for the reported 600k is an absolute mystery.
“It’s early days but Sam McCallum and Moses Odubajo look a big upgrade from what we had [at full-back] and another signing, Andre Dozzell, has impressed during cameos in preseason. There is a real sense and hope that if he can fulfil his talent, then he will be a big player for us.
“Having Luke Amos back from injury after nearly a year out feels like a new signing too.
“There’s a sense of ‘now or never’ amongst the fan base. We are in the best shape we have been in for six or seven years – both on and off the pitch – with some real talent at our disposal, while the league is as weak as I can remember.
“Everything feels like it’s going too well. We even won the best kit in the league! A good start is absolutely key because if we don’t do it this year, it will be tough to hang onto the likes of Ilias Chair, Rob Dickie and Seny Dieng.”
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