Lee Johnson is taking his Sunderland outfit to Loftus Road tonight in the EFL Cup and they take on QPR as the only League One team left in the competition.


The Black Cats are a stone’s throw from reaching the quarter-final, but Warburton also has progress on his mind as part of a big week which also involves a Championship clash.



The 59-year-old knows current Sunderland star Pritchard and is well aware of the quality the 28-year-old can bring in terms of ball delivery.


He, therefore, remains wary of the Sunderland threat and has asked his players to take the Black Cats seriously.



Assessing the importance of the game on Tuesday ahead of yet another test in the Championship against Nottingham Forest on Friday, Warburton told his club’s official website: “It’s a huge week for us.


“Obviously there’s the Forest game on Friday, but tomorrow gives us the chance to progress to the last eight of the competition.



“There are some big, Premier League names left in the hat, and it’s good for the supporters and good for the players, too, in terms of their learning and development.


“We want to go as far in the tournament as we possibly can and I think you always have to take competitions like this one seriously.


“We also have to take Sunderland seriously.


“They are a very, very good team and have cleverness and good ball delivery through the likes of Aiden McGeady and Alex Pritchard, who I know well.


“They have energy and are a good team.”


Sunderland will head into the game with the aim to put things right having lost their last match 1-0 in the league against relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic.