Mark Warburton is under no illusions about the size of the task facing him at Loftus Road.
The former Brentford boss looked fresh, enthusiastic and ready for business at his first press conference since being announced as QPR’s new manager.
There were no excuses made, ducking questions or disrespecting his predecessors, but instead a calm and conservative approach to the challenge that lies ahead of him in W12.
Warburton had been out of work since a frustrating nine-month spell at Nottingham Forest ended abruptly in December 2017, says there were no doubts in his mind about taking the job – despite the well-known financial restrictions in place at Loftus Road.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, he said: “There was no hesitation for me coming here. Every new job you go into in football is going to be tough.
“If you go into a team that is flying because the manager has gone to a bigger club or on to international level then you’ve got to maintain those standards and that success.
“If it hasn’t gone so well with the last manager, then you’re expected to quickly and efficiently show signs of improvement and a clear pathway that the team is going on to bigger and better things in the future.
“There is a clear vision at this football club and there are firm foundations in place for us to move forward.
“It’s not going to be easy, nothing is in life, but it is my responsibility as manager of this football club to make sure that steady progress is made in the future.
“I’m fully aware of the financial situation and understand completely why the club have had to let some experienced players move on – that’s football after all.”
One of those players released was Jake Bidwell, someone Warburton knows very well, having signed the no-nonsense defender as an 18-year-old while manager of Brentford.
Warburton expressed his admiration for the left-back, admitting in an ideal world he’d have liked to have kept him at the club.
“Jake knows what I think of him and how much I value him as a player and a person. He’s a real asset, on and off the field,” he explained.
“Sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and sadly with Jake and a couple of others they’ve had to move on.
“What is vitally important for this football club now is we must get the recruitment right.
“We need to become a more stable outfit, on and off the field. I’m fully aware of what type of player we can and can’t afford.
“I’m very conscious that the window closes on August 8 – that for me changes the whole dynamic of everything. It’s a game of ifs and buts at the end of the day.
“Good players will be available late in the day, but then you’ll have bids coming in for your best players on August 7, so what do you do?
“Our work needs to be done sooner rather than later, and we need to bring in at least four or five players.
“You have to make sure you have depth in the squad, so when there’s injuries or you have to sell your star men you can cope. There will no excuses.”
Social media is an ugly place at times, with Warburton one of 326 million people who are active on Twitter every month.
Warburton says he will only be using the service sporadically during his tenure at QPR, and insists potential criticism from supporters will not faze him.
“The one thing I curse David Weir for is putting me on Twitter! I have enormous respect for the man, apart from the fact one Friday night before a game he somehow got me involved in that,” he laughed.
“I’ll put out some very neutral stuff and engage with fans from time to time, but I won’t get involved in any arguments or anything like that – that isn’t my style whatsoever.
“They are entitled to their opinion, if they want go online and express their views, then so be it. I can’t control that.
“Sadly you also have these breed of keyboard warriors in this day and age who dish out all kinds of abuse, and I find it appalling that these type of people hide behind a screen. What world do we live in?
“Twitter isn’t something I’ll be keeping a close eye on – I’ve got enough work to be getting on with!”
Fan engagement during Warburton’s time at Rangers was particularly impressive, and he’s vowed to replicate that in west London to give QPR fans more behind-the-scenes access than before – while being as upfront with them as possible.
“Fans want more information. At the end of their club it is their football club,” he explained.
“I’ve been at a few clubs where their remit has been to tell them as little as possible and cut communication down to a minimum. Why though? You’re just alienating your fan base doing that.
“Fans want to be seeing behind-the-scenes content and have an insight into the type of stuff we do.
“Who is the analyst and what does he get up to or a daily basis? What does the masseuse do? Show the fans a level of detail that the players are privy to.
“We did it at Rangers and they absolutely loved it. The connection between the players and the fans there was brilliant – what a magnificent football club that is.
“If you can do that the right way, it can only be beneficial to the club.”
Warburton’s bitter Ibrox departure is still something he struggles to get his head around, but says that experience, as well as a brief spell in charge of Forest, have been huge learning curves for him.
“It was an absolute privilege to manage Glasgow Rangers and Nottingham Forest. They are two magnificent football clubs,” he said.
“We punched above our weight in my first season at Rangers, and it didn’t end how I wanted it too, but I have nothing but fond memories of my time there.
“It was a huge learning curve for me and it was the same at Forest too. You’ve got to grow as a person and learn from those experiences and get better.
“The problem with managing a club Rangers is that you’re always going to be judged on the gap between Celtic and them.
“When Celtic were on the run they were on at the time with Brendan Rodgers, it’s extremely tough to match that.”
Warburton has vowed to do everything he can to turn around QPR’s fortunes, relaying a message to supporters at the end of this interview.
“I hope every week they watch their team play and I can assure them they’ll be absolutely committed to the task,” he added.
“They’ll be good and bad days, but as long as they stick with us we’ll be absolutely fine.”
The former banker turned football coach is back in management and is intent on not letting this opportunity pass him by.