The going’s getting tough, so it’s time for the tough to get going.
That seemed to be the message that Mark Warburton was trying to get across when it comes to the busy winter period in the Championship.
Speaking to the club website, Warburton spoke about how he used the international break to rest certain members of the squad, as well as how tough it is going to be to manage players when it comes to rest and recovery during what it set to be a rather hectic period in the Championship season:
“The break in fixtures gave us a chance to recharge before going into what we know is a really demanding period. This now defines the Championship, after the third international break through to the next one in March. It is full on, it’s a relentless demand for the players and we have to make sure we get the loading right.”
It’s an especially relentless demand when you consider just how thin the squad is in certain places, particularly in positions like left-back and out wide. With the January window, and a chance to bring in reinforcements, still over a month away, this is arguably the most crucial stage of the season as the fixtures really begin to pile up, and how Warburton handles it could very well go down as a turning point in this season.
He mentioned earlier in his press conference about how “any team that can win four out of six, or three out of five with a draw, is going to be in good shape”, and that level of consistency just hasn’t been there for QPR this season. Now more than ever is the time the season where that consistency is going to become crucial.
In what area do QPR need the most investment?
The closer they find themselves to the top of the table, the higher calibre of players they’ll be able to attract in January, but if they slide down, then those targets might end up thinking twice about joining.