QPR boss admits his side couldn't cope with Sheffield United as he thanks fans for backing ahead of summer exit

Mark Warburton, the outgoing Queens Park Rangers manager, admitted his side could not match Sheffield United tonight as the Blades sealed a potentially-vital victory in their play-off push.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 10:35 pm

With a host of clubs breathing down their necks, United knew they could ill afford any slip-ups at this crunch stage of the season but trailed at half-time in the capital, thanks to Charlie Austin’s header.

But a more intense second-half display from United blew Rangers away, with Iliman Ndiaye, Jack Robinson and substitute Conor Hourihane getting their names on the scoresheet to enable United’s play-off destiny remains in their own hands.

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“They stepped up a level in the second half and had some real quality about them,” Warburton said.

“We gave the ball away cheaply, they got in the game and looked the better team.

“Second half, we wanted to take care of the football and didn’t do that. They stepped up a level and we didn’t match that.

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton applauds the fans after defeat to Sheffield United: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

“We had to take care of the ball but we were rash and went long too easily. They raised the level and we didn’t match it. We’re professionals and every time you put a jersey on, in front of your fans, there’s a responsibility to be the best you can be.”

For Warburton, it was defeat in his final game in charge of QPR at home, ahead of his departure this summer, and he received a warm reception from the club’s fans ahead of kick-off.

“It meant a lot,” he said. “It’s not about ego or any of that nonsense; the fans have been very supportive, and that was a genuine thanks for their backing.”