Taarabt to stay as QPR skipper

ADEL Taarabt will retain the QPR captaincy for the foreseeable future, despite official skipper Fitz Hall’s recent return to the team.

Hall was appointed captain in August, but strained his hamstring only a week into the season and manager Neil Warnock handed Taarabt the armband in his absence.

The Moroccan midfielder has led Rangers onto the field ever since – even when Hall returned to the starting line-up against Preston – and Warnock confirmed that he has no plans to alter that arrangement.

“Taarabt’s been the long-term captain, he’s been wearing the armband, and I felt Fitz should just concentrate on the playing side. That’s what I told him,” said Warnock.

“It’s not an issue for me. Unless you’re talking about the job Bryan Robson did at Man United, I’m not so sure it’s a massive thing these days.

“Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and Matt Connolly are all captains on the pitch – and Rob Hulse does his share up the middle as well.

“People have said that no striker should be captain and I’ve never seen a goalkeeper who should be captain, even though there have been. I think Taarabt’s done it all right.”

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Warnock’s decision to choose Taarabt as captain undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows at the time, but the Rs boss is convinced that the additional responsibility has brought the best out of the 21-year-old.

“The Forest game was his best since I’ve been at the club regarding all-round performance,” added Warnock. “He’s never going to tackle back, chase and harass, but he can do certain things which he tried harder to do at Forest.

“I’ve asked him to do a little bit more and I think he’s done that. It’s a unique situation with Taarabt – I don’t think some people could tolerate him, but we love him and the lads who he frustrates love him as well.

“It’s good for him and I don’t think he’ll ever be happier than where he is at the moment.”