At home with... QPR boss Mark Warburton
Sky Sports exclusive: QPR boss Mark Warburton joined Sky Sports to discuss his journey into football management, the potential ability of Rangers starlet Ebere Eze and much, much more.
Last Updated: 08/06/20 10:11am
Mark Warburton discussed a wide range of topics as Sky Sports joined the QPR boss at home.
Gary Weaver and Keith Andrews spoke to Warburton about his journey into football management, the potential ability of Rangers starlet Ebere Eze and much, much more.
Listen to the 'At home with... QPR' podcast
On his unorthodox journey into football management…
"I'd left Leicester as a young professional and I was playing semi-pro at Enfield when my mum saw an advert for a 'competitive individual, good with numbers' and that was me. I found maths and numbers easy and, purely by chance, I found myself in the world of currency trading and then spent the best part of 25 years doing it. Most people will be unaware of what goes on in currency markets. There's huge responsibility and billions of dollars going through every single day. But I was always coaching, too. I lived in Chicago, Charlotte, North Carolina, Tokyo, New York and I was very fortunate that, wherever I went, I coached.
"As a young dealer, I worked my way up, went to North Carolina, came back and found myself as senior dealer, then I moved to become the chief dealer of a bank. You may have 10 people around the desk and you may turn over $20-25 billion in a day - if you did well, you got a big bonus, if you didn't, you got sacked. It was as simple as that and I loved the black-and-white nature of it all. Players could sit in those dealing rooms and feel perfectly at home because it's just like being in a really competitive dressing room.
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"When I was at Brentford, I took a few of the boys into the HSBC dealing room where my former colleague was the global head of trading. Clayton Donaldson asked what my former colleague earned and, at the time, there was a standardised £100,000 per year. I knew Clayton was comparing that to a player's salary, working out that meant he was on £2,000 per week and then I told him to ask what his bonus was. The guy had done a fantastic job globally and his bonus in the seven figures and I will never forget the look on Clayton's face. I was trying to say to them that they got rewarded if they did well."
On providing a platform for prized asset Ebere Eze…
"I'm loathe, normally, to talk about individual players but he's a young guy that I knew about going into the job but I've been very impressed. There's been a lot of media focus, quite rightly, for his performances - he's dealt with that really well. Last year he had a really hot streak and then tailed off quite significantly. That played on his mind; he knew about that. Again, he's responded this year and he's maintained a level of consistency home and away.
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"I honestly believe that he's a top-six Premier League player, all day long. I've watched how he is before games - he just can't wait to go and play. He's relaxed, he's looking forward to it. You watch players who are a bag of nerves before games but not Ebs. He looks forward to it, responds well to a mistake, he responds well to criticism for a young guy. He gets it."
On learning from Brentford owner Matthew Benham…
"A friend introduced me to Matthew and we were doing the NextGen U19 tournament, which involved 24 of the biggest clubs, and he supported that fantastically well. I learned a lot from Matthew in terms of probability and the likelihood of scoring from key areas. I remember Alan Judge took a shot from 30 yards and clipped the top of the crossbar and Matthew was raging at the time because he could have passed, he was 32 yards out and the likelihood of scoring was x per cent. But you learn about the impact of probability and about the movement of the ball, which the clever players do.
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People talk about ignoring data and mathematicians and it was well documented that I had a bit of a fall-out with Matthew but I have huge respect for his knowledge and his area of expertise. He'll always ask what do you do when you are 1-0 up with five minutes to go? The worst thing you can do is try and take it into the corner, mathematically. You can't ignore those numbers. I learned an awful lot having the pleasure of working alongside him and with him. We'll all have different ideas about what to do at certain stages of games - that's the beauty of the game."