QPR have enjoyed a steady, albeit unspectacular, start to the campaign under Mark Warburton using a 4-2-3-1 formation, which had seen them win two and lose two of their five Championship games before Saturday’s meeting with Sheffield Wednesday.
However, for the trip to Hillsborough, Warburton decided to mix things up a bit.
The former Rangers and Brentford boss decided to ditch his 4-2-3-1 system and adopt a 5-3-2 formation, which seemed to move into a 3-5-2 with wing-backs when the R’s went forward.
It appeared to have the desired effect as two second-half goals from Jordan Hugill in the space of four minutes handed the Londoners all three points, after Steven Fletcher had given the Owls a 23rd-minute lead.
Whilst a lot of QPR players enjoyed a good afternoon with some fine showings out there, one man performed exceptionally well and appears to fit this new system like a glove.
Ryan Manning. The left-back has started all six of the R’s Championship games so far this season, but hadn’t performed anywhere near as well as he did on Saturday in any of the previous outings.
The 23-year-old had previously racked up the following WhoScored ratings for his performances before the win over Sheffield Wednesday:
– 6.91 vs Stoke
– 7.1 vs Huddersfield
– 6.79 vs Bristol City
– 6.74 vs Swansea
– 7.07 vs Wigan
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At Hillsborough however, Manning recorded a rating of 8.48, blowing all of his previous ratings out of the water.
The Irishman also made three key passes in his new left-back role – more than anyone else on the pitch – with one of them earning him an assist. Additionally, Manning made a game-high four dribbles and was fouled five times in what was an all-action performance from him up and down the left-flank.
Out of all the QPR players who impressed in this new system, it appears to suit Manning’s traits the best.