EXCLUSIVE BY YANN TEAR
Yoann Barbet says he has yet to show his best form since his summer move to QPR, admitting to too many costly blunders.
The honest French defender looked a class act at former club Brentford – where he played for four years – and Rangers boss Mark Warburton has played him in every minute of every game so far.
But the 26-year-old from the Bordeaux region concedes R’s fans are not yet seeing the vintage performances of which he is capable.
As well as giving away two penalties in recent league games, he also came in for some criticism from some Rangers fans on social media for failing to track back quickly enough to prevent Portsmouth’s second goal in the recent League Cup defeat.
“I’m not really happy with my start,” Barbet told the London Weekly News.
“I’m enjoying it a lot but I have to be a bit disappointed from my own point of view because of the mistakes I made, which have cost us goals.
“I gave away two penalties in the last five years, I think, and then I gave away two in four games against Huddersfield and Swansea. It’s obviously not what I wanted.
“I know I am much better than that. “I’m working very hard in training and hopefully I’ll be back to my best form soon.
“I know I need to do better and I can understand why people are not happy, but hopefully they will see me play much better.
“I don’t read what is said on Twitter or things like that. One day you make a mistake and you are the worst defender in the world. The next game, you are the best. You need to take care not to take too much notice and have confidence in what you are doing.
“It is frustrating because apart from those mistakes, I thought I was playing well in those games. But you have to just stay strong.
“I’ve played every game – the manager gives me a lot of credit, and when you have the manager’s confidence, it’s always a positive thing.
“But I can’t rest on my laurels and want to deserve my place. I know I have to stop the mistakes. If I keep giving penalties away, the manager will drop me. I want to give him the reward for having faith in me.”
His personal form aside, Barbet likes what he sees and thinks there are similarities between the way Rangers play now and how Brentford have done in recent reasons to ruffle feathers in the Championship.
“We have a good team and shown already what we are about, playing attractive football,” he said.
“It’s a new style of play for this team, where we play from the back more, but it is similar to the way we played at Brentford when I was there.
“We play on the floor more, but we can also go long, though, and I think we just have to learn how to win ugly when we are not at our best. But I think we have made a good start and there is a lot more to come.
“It is still too early to say where we might end up. We want to make sure we stay in this league as quickly as possible, then, if we are safe, we’ll see where we are and how far we can go.
“We are eighth in the league but we can be a bit disappointed because we dropped a few points because of mistakes like mine, but we have reacted well.”
The manager’s backing ought to help Barbet quickly re-establish his reputation and win over the doubters. Another factor in his favour is that he is being entrusted with a central defensive role in the new Rangers set-up.
“I played at left back sometimes for Brentford but I prefer to play centre back, or in a back three as I have done done for QPR,” he said.
“I feel very fit after a good pre-season and it’s easier to stay at a high level if you play every game.
“We have come back from the international break with good fitness test results and are looking forward to playing Luton on Saturday.
I had a good four-day break with my girlfriend and am ready to get going again.”