Mark Warburton calls for defensive improvement from QPR

Queens Park Rangers' Lyndon Dykes (centre right) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the g

Queens Park Rangers' Lyndon Dykes (centre right) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday October 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

QPR manager Mark Warburton has warned his side they must improve defensively if they are to sustain a promotion challenge.

They beat Preston 3-2 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Ilias Chair was a key man for them once again.

Chair scored the winner three minutes after his free-kick had led to Jimmy Dunne equalising.

But Rangers' ongoing tendency to concede soft goals against the run of play was evident again.

They were in control after Lyndon Dykes' opener but Emil Riis Jakobsen got away from Dunne and capitalised on goalkeeper Seny Dieng's hesitation to equalise.

Preston North End's Alistair McCann (left) and Queens Park Rangers' Ilias Chair battle for the ball

Preston North End's Alistair McCann (left) and Queens Park Rangers' Ilias Chair battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday October 2, 2021. - Credit: PA


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And Josh Earl's goal in the first minute of the second half meant Rangers, who go into the international break with 18 points, had to come from behind.

"The negatives are two awful goals given away," Warburton admitted. "It was an individual error for the first and then straight after half-time not tracking a runner - poor basic defending.

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"You can't give two goals away. That's an honest fact. You can't keep scoring three goals.

"We know we're going to be on the front foot and create chances, but we have to be better defensively.

"We're a dangerous team going forward but we need to be solid and compact behind the ball. When we do that we look very good.

"But it's a good three points and important. That's the bread and butter of the Championship - those type of games are easily drawn and easily lost.

"They are the scrappy games you have to win. But we have to recognise that defensively we have to be better. We've got to cut out the basic errors.

"We're in a good place but we know we've let ourselves down in terms of not getting the results from the performances they've delivered. We should be sitting with 22 or 23 points."

Chair, who wears the number 10 shirt previously worn by club legends Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles and more recently Ebere Eze, continues to impress.

Warburton said: "He wanted that shirt. We talked about it and he knows the weight of expectation that comes with it.

"He's a talented player and, a bit like Ebere, the system suits him as he gets a lot of the ball.

"He's got a big career ahead of him but knows he needs to keep working hard."

Preston manager Frankie McAvoy was also unhappy with his team's defending.

"I'm disappointed with the outcome. I felt we were comfortable at 2-1," he said.

"I felt it wasn't a free-kick which leads to their second goal, but we've got to defend it a bit better. The third goal, again we've got to defend better.

"We wanted to try to win the game. We felt that if chances arose our way we were good enough to take them.

"It's just disappointing because, where we've been defensively solid in terms of set-pieces going into our box, we conceded from one and should defend it better.

"You always know that QPR will be a threat. But I felt that if we could keep it at 2-1 we would get a third goal.

"At 3-2 we wanted to keep pushing to try and get a third goal and get back into it. I'm disappointed to be sitting here with nothing. I don't think we deserve that."

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