Warburton blasts schedule of fixtures as QPR face three games in a week

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 December 2019

Queens Park Rangers' Nahki Wells. Picture: John Walton/PA

Queens Park Rangers' Nahki Wells. Picture: John Walton/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Warburton takes aim at the fixture schedule ahead of the games with Reading, Hull City and Cardiff City.

Queens Park Rangers' Luke Amos. Picture: PAQueens Park Rangers' Luke Amos. Picture: PA

Mark Warburton has criticised the Championship's schedule of fixtures over the Christmas period, arguing that it places "unbelievable demands" on clubs.

The R's travel to the Madejski Stadium to take on Reading on Boxing Day before returning home to face Hull City on the 29th and Cardiff City on New Year's Day.

Rangers go into the game against Reading having drawn 2-2 with Charlton Athletic last time out to leave them 14th in the table.

But the prospect of three games in the space of a week is not something Warburton is relishing.

"This time of the year is a nightmare for many clubs," he said.

"I know it's deemed as a traditional British Christmas programme and everyone loves it.

"Let me tell you, when you're playing 26th, 29th, 1st and 5th or 4th in the FA Cup, it places unbelievable demands on the squads.

"It places demands on the supporters in terms of the cost of following your team and at the end of the day there's dilution of quality.

"Players are carrying injuries and trying to get through and this is where the smaller squads very often pay the price.

"All you do is you have tired, weary players carrying injuries. Squads aren't training, it's just a maintenance programme.

"I think we've just got to look at the fixture programme and try and make it that we don't have these games where it does place such a demand on teams.

"We're in a good position still but we're going into a tough run of games and hopefully we can use our squad wisely."

Reading go into the clash with QPR off the back of a 3-0 win against Derby County in their last outing.

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw when they met earlier this season at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium after a late equaliser from Sam Baldock.

Rangers will then look to repeat their success from earlier in the season against Hull, having picked up a 3-2 away win.

But they did not fare as well against Cardiff City, losing 3-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium despite dominating possession.

R's goalkeeper Liam Kelly has returned to full training so could come back into contention but Yoann Barbet has remained absent in recent weeks with a muscle injury.

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