Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton is taking nothing for granted when his side face off against Reading this weekend as the Championship returns to action.
Rangers, who sit third, have made a stellar start to the new season, winning three and drawing two from their opening five games.
However, in contrast, 21st-place Reading have started the new season in miserable form, only managing to muster up one win from their first five fixtures.
But despite the difference in form and league position, Warburton reckons QPR are in for a stern test at the newly named Select Car Leasing Stadium when they face Reading.
“Reading have lost some players and with that some goals this season,” Warburton told the team website.
👔 Let’s hear from the gaffer!
— QPR FC (@QPR) September 10, 2021
“But, they are a good team, they have recruited well with some real Premier League experience coming in.
“We are very aware that they had a tough time going into the international break, so their mindset will be about coming out on Saturday and producing a strong performance in front of their fans.
“We have to recognise, embrace and meet that challenge and that’s what we will do.”
The international break came at the perfect time for QPR, giving them a chance to re-group and recuperate after a whirlwind opening part of the season.
Within the first 21 days of the new season, Warburton’s side played a whopping seven games, with fixtures coming thick and fast.
And with another seven games coming in the next 22 days, the QPR boss admits even though they were in flying form, the break came at the perfect time for his side.
“We were on a good run, but the break came at a good time for us, physically,” added Warburton.
“We faced seven games in 21 days, which was a challenge, but now we know we face seven more in 22 days, so the break was vitally important for us.
— QPR FC (@QPR) August 25, 2021
“The lads have to recognise what we have done well during the opening few games, but we have dropped four points at home, and we have to identify what we need to do to be solid and compact.
“We now face another busy schedule, so there are some real challenges against some tough opposition.”
And the clash against Reading will see QPR’s chances buoyed by their travelling supporters who sold-out their away end, much to the delight of Warburton.
“It’s really pleasing to see the number of QPR fans that will be making the trip,” said Warburton.
“Of course, it’s disappointing for the supporters who couldn’t get tickets, but it shows that the fans are really behind this team and both the players and staff really recognise that.”