Before the game even started we knew Fulham were a possession based team; controlling the game, breaking down their opponents and finishing with one of their many top performing strikers this season. To our benefit, Fulham’s key striker Aleksander Mitrovic was unable to play due to a 3 match ban, relieving some pressure from our defence. I liked the formation used by Warburton, despite being an unconventional 4-2-3-1 that even the commentators couldn’t understand. It simply allowed our players to start on the front foot and in my opinion that is when we are at our best, proven by us scoring in the first minute, the best start we could’ve hoped for.
As the game progressed Fulham’s possession based tactics shined through however, our defence were holding their ground avoiding any clear cut chances, which is the best way to counter this type of formation. In the 21st minute Fulham scored and it was so frustrating for myself and I’m sure fellow QPR fans, because of how avoidable it was. There was lack of intent after losing the ball and complete ignorance from our defence as they failed to close Arter down, simply leaving him the space to take a shot. Kelly should’ve done better but as proven later in the match he is good enough to stop those types of shots and I personally place more blame on the defence. This was the exact same situation for the second goal.
To conclude, I believe that Warburton’s tactics were fitting with how we should play through us creating really good chances for ourselves, with a lack of finishing in the last third. It’s clear that the majority of our players lack the confidence to take shots from outside the box, as well as taking control on the pitch, which I think was the only thing Fulham were clearly better than us at. To be honest, I think our season is over but we should still use our final games experimenting and understanding the best way this team can play. By refining our defence, trying out a new goalkeeper (Seny Dieng) and giving our players much more confidence I think and hope next season we can get into the premier league.
Written by Finn Bearman