This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
The 5-3-2 system in which Mark Warburton sets his QPR side up in hasn’t always been the formation used by the R’s boss.
Interestingly, the former Rangers and Brentford manager used a 4-2-3-1 system in the early parts of the current campaign, before switching to the current 5-3-2 for the trip to Sheffield Wednesday at the end of August.
The move merited a 2-1 win, with Jordan Hugill scoring both goals for QPR on a day that served to suggest the on-loan West Ham man might be well-suited to the new system.
However, since the trip to Hillsborough, the former Preston forward has struggled.
Last time out in the 3-0 defeat to Cardiff, the 27-year-old could not add to his five Championship goals as he delivered an extremely poor performance against the Bluebirds, despite Warburton switching back to a 4-2-3-1.
Hugill failed to have a single shot, and also failed to complete a key pass as he looked lost against Neil Warnock’s side.
The 6-foot striker also had a game-high six unsuccessful touches, leading to WhoScored handing him an underwhelming 5.63 match rating – the lowest of any player to start the game at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Hugill’s goalless display continues a worrying trend.
Since the aforementioned game against Sheffield Wednesday – in which he scored twice – Hugill hasn’t scored a single goal, while you only need to compare his match ratings from the fixtures since to see that he was struggling in Warburton’s 5-3-2 system but could also not return to his best despite a move back to 4-2-3-1.
He then went on to be handed a 5.67 rating in the 2-0 defeat to West Brom on Saturday, before being given the aforementioned 5.63 against Cardiff – with each passing game, Hugill’s ratings are getting lower and he still isn’t finding the net.
The formation change seemed to work as a whole, with QPR winning four games in a row before losing to the Baggies, but Hugill, in particular, seems to be struggling in it despite early signs of promise.