Warburton plays down need for new centre-back after Brentford loss

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 January 2020

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton. Picture: John Walton/PA

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton. Picture: John Walton/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton on whether he needs to add a new centre-back to his squad following a 3-1 defeat to Brentford.

Mark Warburton insists that he does not necessarily need to add a new centre-back to his QPR squad in the January transfer window.

Injuries to Toni Leistner and Yoann Barbet meant Geoff Cameron started in central defence alongside Grant Hall in the 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Saturday.

Cameron was then moved into midfield for the second half with youngster Conor Masterson being brought on to play alongside Hall.

Barbet has been out for more almost three months with injury but is nearing a return to fitness, while Leistner is expected to be ready for his side's next game against Leeds United.

And Warburton does not want to be left with too many options in the position when they return, while also blaming the Christmas schedule of fixtures for Leistner's injury.

"What do I do when they're fit? Do I now add another centre-half?," he said.

"You just can't keep adding numbers for the sake of it and then in four weeks time find yourselves with 28 players.

"You've got to use your common sense.

"It's the demands of the league, it's the demands of the Christmas programme.

"Toni Leistner pulls a hamstring and I see four Newcastle players pull hamstrings.

"58 injuries on Boxing Day. You're asking players to do too much.

"Toni's been very, very good for us. Injured with a hamstring. The game came two or three days too quickly or too soon for him.

"You've got Toni injured, you've got Angel (Rangel) injured and you've got Yoann (Barbet) injured."

Warburton has also used Lee Wallace at centre-back this season and while Masterson has now made two appearances for the club, the R's boss is keen for him to be loaned out.

Rangers failed with a move for Aberdeen central defender Scott McKenna in the summer transfer window and are unlikely to be able to meet the club's valuation this month.

But QPR have been linked with a move for Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland, while Spurs winger Jack Clarke is also rumoured to be a loan target for the club.

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