Neil Warnock, the QPR manager, said yesterday he had "no problem" with Adel Taarabt's half-time departure from their 6-0 defeat at Fulham. Taarabt left Craven Cottage in his club tracksuit after being substituted with Rangers 3-0 down to their west London rivals. He was photographed outside the ground and later seen attempting to leave the area by taxi or bus.
Warnock said there had been no row in the dressing room, just the simple instruction to Taarabt and Shaun Derry that he was making changes and they would be withdrawn. He said he then concentrated on trying to fix the holes on his back four.
Warnock told The Independent: "It doesn't bother me. The dressing rooms at Craven Cottage are in one corner of the ground, the bench is on the halfway line on the far side of the pitch. I'm not going to insist he walks 60 yards just to sit and watch us lose.
"At half-time I was more concerned with my defence. I said: 'Dessie, you're off, and you are as well Adel'. That was it. People talk about him storming off. I didn't even know he'd gone. And he certanly didn't go to the pub for a pint as some have reported – he's a Muslim and doesn't drink. They want to be careful he doesn't sue them for saying that."
When it was put to Warnock that Derry had sat and watched the second half he said: "They are different people. Adel is young and emotional. He does these things. Last year he said he'd never play again for Morocco after he was made substitute in a game. Guess where he is now? Heading for Morocco to play for them. I'll see him at training when we get back and, with the rest of the team, we'll start preparing for the next match at home to Blackburn. My main concern at the moment is which defenders we'll have fit and available, not Adel.
"You're going to get days when Adel throws his toys out of the pram, that isn't a worry for me, I'd have more of a problem if someone was happy at being subbed."
Taarabt was replaced as captain this season by Joey Barton after a summer of transfer speculation but that, said Warnock, was less a reflection on Taarabt than a consequence of a player of Barton's experience joining the club. Taarabt had returned to pre-season training out of condition but organised a week at a specialist fitness centre in France himself during the last international break to improve his fitness.