Rangers confident FA punishment will not scupper promotion

Watford 0 Queen's Park Rangers 2

Not even the shadow cast by the Football Association disciplinary panel his club will face this week could dim QPR or Neil Warnock's excitement at the prospect of returning to the Premier League.

"I'm looking forward to putting a team together and having a go," the Queen's Park Rangers manager said at Vicarage Road on Saturday after his team had secured the points that should give them the Championship title and return them to the top flight after a 15-year absence. "I was brought in to get promotion and as far as I'm concerned, I've achieved that aim."

Warnock did not sound like a man expecting the worst when the FA give their verdict – expected on Friday – on the alleged breach of rules on third-party ownership of players when Rangers signed Alejandro Faurlin. The club deny any wrongdoing over the recruitment of the Argentine midfielder, who joined before Warnock's arrival at Loftus Road last year.

The FA, meanwhile, have distanced themselves from a report that they are about to impose a 15-point penalty, which could take Rangers below even the play-off places. If there is any appeal against the FA's verdict, plans for the play-offs could be thrown into chaos.

Warnock admitted that, in the past, he might not have trusted players like his captain, Adel Taarabt, the Championship's player of the year, but now recognises how essential such talents are, especially at the highest level.

"You have to score goals to win games," he said. "We'd have been up before now if we'd taken half the chances that we've had in the last few weeks. But I've told Adel that he's at a very crucial period in his career. He has the ability to be one of the best in the world, but he's got to be more dedicated. He's got to listen to me and take it on board."

Having turned his team's fortunes around in little more than a year – Rangers were facing a relegation fight when he joined – Warnock considers the seventh promotion of his managerial career to be his greatest achievement so far. Nevertheless, there were times when it seemed that Rangers might be forced to wait until the final weekend before achieving their target.

Warnock's men had to regroup after losing Paddy Kenny and Fitz Hall to injury, the former in the warm-up and the latter after only 23 minutes, and were on the back foot for much of the second half until Taarabt converted Tommy Smith's cross at the near post. Smith followed up with a second goal from outside the penalty area two minutes into stoppage-time.

Watford, who were in contention for the play-offs until recently, improved after a scrappy first half. Malky Mackay, their manager, saw no shame in losing to Rangers. "They have been consistently the best team all season," he said.

Booked: Watford Cowie

Man of the match Gorkss.

Referee N Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Attendance 15,538.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
film
News
people
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'