Warburton makes U-turn over QPR defender Masterson

Queens Park Rangers
Conor Masterson

QPR boss Mark Warburton has hinted Conor Masterson is unlikely to be loaned out after his performance against Leeds.

Masterson signed for QPR over the summer after being released by boyhood club Liverpool without making a senior appearance.

The 21-year-old has struggled to make an impact at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium but injuries saw him brought in from the cold over the weekend.

Toni Leistner, Angel Rangel and Yoann Barbet were unavailable and Masterson slotted into the heart of defence alongside Grant Hall.

It looked a thankless task against automatic promotion hopefuls Leeds but Masterson stepped up and helped the R’s to earn a 1-0 win, boosting their hopes of making a late push for the play-offs.

Warburton had previously hinted that Masterson could be loaned out to gain first-team experience in the second half of the season but Saturday’s performance appears to have convinced him otherwise.

Asked if he still plans to loan Masterson out, Warburton said: “Probably not, after that. Things happen for a reason. We’ve had Yoann out, Angel Rangel out and Toni out, so we were very thin.

“We’ve been lucky with our forwards keeping fit but we’ve struggled defensively. He was asked to plug a gap, did really well and you need to take the chance when it comes along. He loved playing, he loved the competition and the challenge. All credit to him.”

Masterson’s exploits could give Warburton a selection headache once he has a fully fit squad, but the youngster is expected to get the nod when they host Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Friday.