Warburton defends decision to rotate team after FA Cup exit

PUBLISHED: 23:25 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 01:33 25 January 2020

Sheffield Wednesday's Morgan Fox (left) and Queens Park Rangers' Bright Osayi-Samuel battle for the ball. Picture: PA

Sheffield Wednesday's Morgan Fox (left) and Queens Park Rangers' Bright Osayi-Samuel battle for the ball. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton gives his verdict on the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Mark Warburton defended his decision to rotate his team for the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and believes it was right not to start in-form Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Morgan Fox profited from a lapse in concentration from a throw-in in the first half to give the Owls the lead before Sam Winnall made it two in added time of the second half and substitute Nahki Wells grabbed a late consolation goal moments later.

Warburton opted to make seven changes for the loss, with winger Osayi-Samuel, who had scored four goals and got three assists in the last nine games prior to the cup clash,, coming off the bench to make a positive impact.

But the R's boss believes it was right to leave him on the bench and says he needed to change his team.

"I can't keep repeating myself," he said.

"All that will happen is he'll (Osayi-Samuel) pull a hamstring or he'll pull a groin and we lose him for six weeks.

"Then we say to you guys 'sorry Bright's out injured'. Then it takes him two weeks to find his match legs again.

"You've got to look after the players and that's why we have a squad.

"Marc Pugh came in tonight and did very, very well but you've got to give your players (a rest).

"When you can, you've got to rotate your squad otherwise if you pick the same 10 players they will just break down, that's all that will happen."

The defeat sees Rangers exit the competition at the fourth round stage, failing to equal last season's run when they reached the fifth round.

Rangers missed some good opportunities following the introduction of Osayi-Samuel but Warburton feels his side did not test opposition goalkeeper Cameron Dawson enough, while also blaming a lapse in concentration for the first goal.

He added: "We got into good areas but never really threatened the goalkeeper and never had an end product or a final pass.

"We're a team that create a lot of chances but if you lack that little bit of quality in the final third you're going to pay the price.

"It was a little bit limp and lame tonight. We've given away a soft goal, just mark your man and that's the nature of it.

"It was just a complete lack of concentration and as I say, you can't do that at this level or you'll get punished."

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