It’s not my fault! Neil Warnock defends his signings at QPR
Neil Warnock defends his QPR signings after Hoops owner Tony Fernandes's recent criticism of the club's past dealings
Neil Warnock has defended his Queens Park Rangers signings after Hoops majority owner Tony Fernandes criticised the relegated club’s past transfer dealings.
The 64-year-old guided the west London side into the Premier League in May 2011 but he was unable to strengthen his squad until the club’s ownership was resolved towards the end of the summer transfer window.
Fernandes took over the club on 18 August of that year, with Warnock recruiting Joey Barton, Luke Young, Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand.
Mark Hughes replaced Warnock in January 2012 and the Welshman successfully kept the Hoops in the top flight before a winless start to this season cut his reign short.
Harry Redknapp took over last November but was unable to save QPR from relegation and is now tasked with giving the Hoops squad a facelift, but Warnock refused to accept he is to blame for the club’s current predicament.
“We got promotion in May with Flavio Briatore and we couldn’t sign a player until there were a few days left of August,” Warnock told Sky Sports News.
“We had three or four months without any activity. That was our problem. We had to sign four or five players because we would have been relegated by Christmas. So in the end, we signed some of our first-choices but a lot weren’t… like Anton Ferdinand.”
He added: “When you look at Armand Traore, who I signed, he’s played something like 46 games. Only Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt have played more games. So they can’t be that bad.”
Warnock revealed his original wish-list included players who have since gone on to become Premier League hits, including Swansea City duo Wayne Routledge and Ashley Williams, plus Danny Graham.
And the former Leeds United manager expressed his frustration at missing out on his top targets and being forced to settle for “second choices”.
“I think if Tony was looking back, it would have been different. We were talking to people in May, June and July. People like Ashley Williams at Swansea, Wayne Routledge and Danny Graham, on reasonable wages, for reasonable transfer fees,” he said.
“They were type of players we would have gone with if the whole club was stable at the time. But it wasn’t until the last few days.
“We tried to get Scott Parker and Craig Bellamy. There were a number of players we tried at the time but we just missed out. We were unlucky on a couple of them. So you fall back on your second choices.”