Looks like we’ve got a little bit of a fight on our hands in the coming weeks.
But don’t worry, it’s not going to be a fight to avoid relegation, not yet anyway. We’re still too far away from the relegation zone for that to be a realistic worry just yet. Rather, we’re going to see one take place on the training ground as there’s set to be a familiar face returning to the fold for QPR.
Yoann Barbet has been out of action for some time now with a number of injuries, but speaking to the club website ahead of his return, he spoke about one of the men who has replaced him at the back, 21-year-old Conor Masterson:
“Whilst I have been out, Conor [Masterson] has come in and done well during a tough period for the team, so now I am back I know I have tough competition for a starting place. I aim to come back and be in the team. There are three fit centre backs and it’s down to the manager to decide who he picks. I just want to train as well as I can and we will see what happens. I feel fit, am available for selection and there are 16 games left and I am ready.”
It certainly is going to be interesting to see how Mark Warburton handles the situation now that Barbet is back and the likes of Masterson and Grant Hall have some competition ahead of them, particularly when it comes to Masterton.
With Hall being the club captain, it’s hard to envision him being dropped, so it looks to be a straight shootout between Masterson and Barbet for that second spot. Perhaps this is what Warburton has been hinting at all along when he talks about young players having to be ‘managed appropriately’.
Mixing him in with the experienced player and essentially picking and choosing the times when he should play to get experience would certainly offer up a different sort of challenge for the young defender.
Who would you rather have in the team?
But if that does end up being the case, wouldn’t it have been better to send him out on loan to get a run of games rather than have him chop and change each week? That was the risk I was on about when he first made the decision to hold onto him.