Osayi-Samuel underlines Prem credentials, but Warburton feels frustration at QPR's wastefulness
Mark Warburton said he was left virtually speechless after his side’s failure to gain reward for a dominant display against Bristol City.
The Hoops somehow contrived to lose a game in which they led through Rob Dickie and in which they created so many chances, they might easily have gone in at half time three of four goals to the good.
But they paid a heavy price for all the near misses as goals from ex-Rangers striker Nahki Wells and Adam Nagy in a 10-minute spell either side of half-time cancelled out all the good work.
“I said to the players it’s the first time in my managerial career of many, many years that I didn’t know what to say to them at full-time,” said the QPR boss.
“You can’t wallop them, because they were so good for such a long period of the game against a very good top six team – we’ve created chance, after chance, after chance.
“The biggest frustration is that they’ve got to build up that belief of how good they are now or can be and they do that by winning games of football.
“We’ve dropped six points [in our last two games] when we’ve really played some excellent football but you have to get your rewards. You have to defend your goal with real passion. Seny [Dieng, the goalkeeper] has had nothing to do apart from bend down twice to pick the ball out of the net.
“We’ve got to defend our goal with ruthlessness and attack the opposition box. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but yes, I’m very frustrated.”
When the dust has settled, Warburton will be able to look more favourably on Tuesday night’s game at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium and in particular the performances of Bright Osayi-Samuel and Tom Carroll.
Osayi-Samuel tormented City in the first half so much that he forced their left-back Jay Dasilva to be hooked at half-time. Rangers are desperate to resolve contract talks with their brightest star.
“Brighty knows what I think of him and I hope very much that it can be resolved because he’s developing as a player at QPR and I think he’s enjoying his football at QPR, so I hope very much that that will continue,” Warburton said.
I say to the players, ‘enjoy being good’ whatever you do and I think he’s enjoying being a very good player, simple as that.
“I said at the start of the season that he’d benefit from another season at QPR. I think he’s destined for the Premier League, hopefully with QPR, but he needs to keep developing, keep learning the game and tonight I think we saw him developing and learning.
“But there were so many good performances. I thought across the pitch we were good, that Tom Carroll was outstanding. I’m delighted for Tom.
“In recent games he’s been clocking over 12k in distance and his fitness is really good after 10 months of injury. I thought his range of pass, his cleverness and disguise of pass made him outstanding.”
The Hoops manager added: “I think they deserve a lot of credit the players. They’ve worked hard on the training pitch, but with the games coming thick and fast now, we haven’t had the chance to work with them. A lot of young players have come in and new players, who have gelled really well.
“They were so, so good for long periods and right to the death. I think Bristol City were almost playing a back seven and we still broke through and an equaliser would have been the least we deserved.
“It’s a frustration because goals change the whole nature of a game. You get a second goal and suddenly the confidence is flowing through the veins and you get your third goal being ruthless and tonight, in that first half, had it been 4-1, 5-1 at half-time, it wouldn’t have been an unfair scoreline.
“We’ve been very, very good tonight, but at the end of the day, you’re only good when you get three points, put the ball in the back of the net and hurt the opposition.
"We had our shape right in terms of pressing to get the ball and I thought the first half we controlled it but if anything, it was too easy. But you have to punish your opponent.”