Mark Warburton has dropped an update on the state of his Queens Park Rangers squad ahead of their Championship fixture this Saturday.
In comments given following QPR’s penalty shootout victory against Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup earlier this week, the 58-year-old revealed that both Luke Amos and Ilias Chair would be rejoining first-team training following their respective injuries, and could be available for the trip to Hull City on Saturday.
However, the manager also cited concern that a number of players, including Stefan Johansen and Charlie Austin, will struggle to maintain fitness as a result of the club’s busy schedule.
Warburton said: “We’re looking at this crazy schedule we face over the next seven to 10 days, which no one can explain to me.
“We’re looking at players. Ilias Chair not being available [for Orient], Stefan, looking after him, Charlie Austin, looking after him, so it was doing what we had to do.
“We’ll have a training group [on Thursday] of about six. The likes of Stefan, Jordy [de Wijs], Chris Willock, Dom Ball – those guys. Luke Amos is with us. Ilias Chair back in training. We’ll work with a small group and do what we have to do.”
While it is indeed true that QPR have a hectic schedule coming up, playing four games – starting with the Hull clash – over the space of 10 days, the news that Amos and Chair are back in training will undoubtedly have fans buzzing.
Indeed, with Amos having not played for the Rs since suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in October 2020, his return is sure to be a big boost for Warburton. The 24-year-old is a fantastic option in defensive midfield -he had the club’s best tackles per game average (2.2) last season despite his sparse involement – as well as being an extra body which the manager can call upon in order to rotate his squad over their busy schedule.
Meanwhile, the return of Chair is also a significant plus for the 58-year-old, as the attacking midfielder – who has not featured for the club so far this season due to a recent illness – was one of the Rs’ most impressive players in the club’s 2020/21 campaign, scoring eight goals, registering four assists and average a SofaScore match rating of 7.04 – ranking him as QPR’s fourth-best player last term.
As such, while the QPR manager may be unhappy with the Championship fixtures already coming thick and fast, it is undeniable that the return of two key midfielders is a welcome boost for the manager, who will be hoping his side can secure their first Championship victory of the season at MKM Stadium on Saturday.