QPR 0 Watford 1: Four things we learned from defeat in final pre-season game
PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 July 2019
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Sports reporter Dan Bennett discusses four key observations from QPR's pre-season defeat to Watford.
Taking chances is where Rangers must improve
There was plenty of positives to take from QPR's performance against Watford, with some nice passing play and the creating of chances offering encouragement for the season ahead. However, where Mark Warburton's side must improve is taking these chances. They could easily have had three goals on Saturday as Osayi-Samuel hit the post early on, Luke Amos fired wide from close range and Olamide Shodipo had a diving header at the back post which was saved by Foster. Warburton spoke again after the game of the need for his side to get the rewards for their encouraging play and the Rs boss will certainly be hoping the addition of Jordan Hugill can help with that.
Manning is a threat from out wide
While he might be more associated with being a midfielder, Ryan Manning has been used at left-back throughout pre-season and impressed again in Saturday's clash with Watford. The 23-year-old was one of the main attacking threats for his side as his willingness to get forward and excellent crossing ability created several chances for his teammates, most notably for Shodipo's diving header. It was thought that Lee Wallace would be first choice at left-back this season but his ongoing injury problems have led Manning to start in that position and while he hasn't been tested too much defensively so far, his crossing from out wide could be a key asset for this QPR side.
Osayi-Samuel certainly looks bright
Bright Osayi-Samuel certainly lived up to his name, particularly in the first half, as his pace and dribbling caused serious problems to the Watford defence. He was desperately unlucky not to give his side the lead on seven minutes when he found his way into the box following a mazy run and his effort bounced back off the post. His manager spoke very highly of him after the game but urged him to take the chances he gets, having also hit the bar the week before against Oxford United.
Hall and Barbet the preferred centre-back partnership
Grant Hall and Yoann Barbet appear to be Warburton's favoured centre-back partnership heading into the season as they again started together. The pair were caught out a couple of times but performed well together up against a difficult challenge for most of the game in Troy Deeney. The pairing is a key area for QPR having leaked goals last season and Hall and Barbet will need to continue to develop their partnership if Warburton's side want to do well this season. The signing of Geoff Cameron last week also presents another option in the position.