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Masterson masterful at QPR

Conor Masterson

Ireland U21 cap Conor Masterson has been praised for the way he has eased into the first team at QPR after a frustrating wait.

A key member of Stephen Kenny's U21 side, Masterson joined QPR from Liverpool last summer but didn't play a single game in the first half of the season.

But, after an impressive FA Cup debut against Swansea, he made his league debut in a defeat to Brentford and retained his place in the side for Saturday's win over league leaders Leeds United.

And manager Mark Warbuton is delighted with the ex-Lucan United man's progress, admitting he has abandoned his plan to send Masterson out on loan.

"He did well against Swansea and did well in the second half at Brentford.

"He deserved to start. A lot of thought went into that," Warburton said.

"You saw Conor's response. He was excellent.

"The most pleasing thing for me was that he thoroughly enjoyed it. He loved it.

"He loved playing, he loved the competition and the challenge. All credit to him.

"He was asked to plug a gap, did really well and you need to take the chance when it comes along," the Rangers boss added.

"He's a young player and the challenge he was presented with, we had to give a lot of thought to it. Is it the right challenge and one he can rise to, or is it one that the young player crumbles under?"