Having kicked off their 2021/22 Championship campaign in impressive fashion, with Mark Warburton’s Queen Park Rangers side having picked up seven points over their first three fixtures of the season, the Rs were somewhat fortunate to escape Saturday’s clash with Barnsley with a point.
Indeed, QPR found themselves 2-0 down after just 27 minutes of the game at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, with strikes from Dominik Frieser and Cauley Woodrow threatening to make it an extremely long afternoon for the Rs in the first half of the match.
However, Warburton reacted quickly, making two substitutes in the 36th minute, which saw both Andre Dozzell and George Thomas replaced by Albert Adomah and Dominic Ball – something which appeared to turn the tide of the fixture.
While it took until the 71st minute for Ilias Chair to pull one back for the Rs, Charlie Austin’s injury-time equaliser ensured that his side would not leave the game empty-handed, with this goal going a long way to justify the 58-year-old manager’s decision to switch his team up in the first half.
And, while Warburton was eager to state that his actions bared no reflection on the performances of the two withdrawn players, it is undeniable that Dozzell’s display, in particular, was in no way the best game of the 22-year-old’s career.
Indeed, over his 36 minutes on the pitch, the central midfielder completed 14 of his 19 attempted passes, gave away possession of the ball on 10 occasions, conceded one foul and was dribbled past once.
These returns saw the former England U20 international earn a SofaScore match rating of 6.2, the lowest rating of any QPR player to feature in the match.
As such, while Warburton may publically state that Dozzell’s substitution was purely tactical, the argument could easily be made that the youngster’s performance also played a part in the manager’s decision, with the midfielder more than likely having to gain back the 58-year-old’s trust in training before he is selected from the off once more.