Mark Warburton wants to put the disappointment of failing to sign Nahki Wells behind him as QPR take on Bristol City this weekend.

The Hoops missed out on securing the permanent signature of the Bermuda international after he was recalled from his loan spell by Burnley, with the 29-year-old opting for a reported £5m move to Saturday’s West Country opponents instead.

Wells had scored 15 goals this season for Warburton’s side, helping leave the Rs within nine points of the Championship play-off spots.

And while the Rangers boss did not hide his frustration at failing to seal the services of the clinical striker, he says there was no way the club could compete with sixth-placed City's lofty bid.

“There was no shortage of desire [to sign Nahki permanently],” he said.

“We know what a good player Nahki is – he was a pleasure to work with and all of us had a great relationship with him.

“We were disappointed to lose him – we had no desire to see Nahki go but that is football sometimes.

“We can’t afford the fees that are being paid for Nahki Wells, though, and it’s as simple as that.

“I read some comments about ‘lack of ambition’ and ‘mid-table security’, but we can’t go and spend three, four, five million pounds on a player.

“We’d love to have had Nahki here permanently, but he was a commodity that we can’t afford at the moment.”

The Rs have also allowed the pairing of Toni Leistner and Josh Scowen to depart Loftus Road this month, with defender Leistner joining FC Cologne on loan until the end of the season and Scowen signing for League One Sunderland on a permanent basis.

And following a patchy run of form in which they have won only two of their last eight league matches, Warburton has come under fire from certain circles for leaving his squad short on numbers.

The Hoops went down to a disappointing 2-1 defeat away at Blackburn on Tuesday night after conceding two first-half goals, and now sit in 14th in the Championship table.

And although his team have failed to sustain the play-off push they showed glimpses of earlier on in the season, Warburton believes he has sufficient depth within his group of players to pick up a crucial result on Saturday.

“We have got players who can play in a number of positions, so we have got cover around the park,” he added.

“We have got young players coming through who want to be given an opportunity and we have to develop our own as well.

“The dynamic of the squad is good – the squad is tight and we would possibly like one more [player], but it’s about what is right for the club and doing the right thing for the future.

“We know that we need a good performance in front of our own fans to get three vital points – it was frustration again on Tuesday.

“What we have to do is recognise our next opportunity -  Bristol City have their threats, they have power all over the park but we are a good team and we have to create chances and put the ball away.”