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Warburton defends QPR keeper after gift to Hull

PUBLISHED: 18:42 29 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:42 29 December 2019

Joe Lumley of Queens Park Rangers (pic Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo)

Joe Lumley of Queens Park Rangers (pic Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

QPR boss Mark Warburton defended goalkeeper Joe Lumley after their last-gasp 2-1 home loss to Hull City.

Jackson Irvine's last-minute goal gave the Tigers the Championship points at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, after Lumley had gifted George Honeyman an equaliser.

Ilias Chair fired Rangers ahead on 20 minutes, but Lumley spilled Josh Bowler's ball in from the right to hand Honeyman his first goal for Hull.

An unchallenged Irvine then headed in a late free-kick to leave the hosts empty handed, but asked if he would recall fit-again Liam Kelly, Warburton said: "I'm minded to treat every player the same. The trouble with a goalkeeper is that everything they do is highlighted.

"If a striker misses a chance or a centre-half misses a header it's easier to say 'no problem'.

"Joe has pulled off a couple of wonderful saves recently and has been very, very good.

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"He had a tough time earlier. I made a change (by selecting Kelly) earlier in the season and that's the right thing to do - to look after players - and when I think the time is right, to change.

"You've got to be able to look any player in the eye and say 'This is why I'm doing it. I'm doing it for these reasons'. They're men and this is professional sport.

"It's about what the right decision is for the team and for the player as well. So I look at every player after every game and think about what's the right thing to do."

Having lost at Reading on Boxing Day, Warburton admitted there were "no excuses" for the manner in which his team conceded goals.

He added: "You lose the game to two ridiculously soft goals, which we can't give away.

"We gave away a really soft goal and had to respond, which we did. But we didn't put the ball in the back of the net. Then the second goal is unacceptable, simple as that."

Injury-hit Hull moved to within three points of a play-off spot after a seventh win in 13 matches and boss Grant McCann said: "We have got severe injuries so the boys have really been outstanding to win seven games from 13.

"It's an incredible effort with what we have. The boys have been phenomenal. I can't speak highly enough of them. We want to try to keep on that level now where we're on an upward scale."

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