QPR boss Mark Warburton has revealed that both Ilias Chair and Luke Amos will be back in training ahead of the Hull City game while Sam McCallum missed last night’s EFL Cup tie due to illness.
The R’s earned their place in the second round of the competition via penalties after their game with a spirited Leyton Orient side ended level.
Warburton made seven changes to his starting XI for the trip to the Breyer Group Stadium but there was no first appearance of the season for Chair or McCallum – both of whom were absent due to illness.
The R’s boss explained after the game that due to the schedule, which sees them travel away to Hull City and Middlesbrough in the next seven days, he was forced to protect some of his players.
He said: “We’re looking at this crazy schedule we face over the next seven to 10 days, which no one can explain to me.
“I had to look after certain players. Lee (Wallace) was always going to play 45, Mo (Odubajo) was on the wrong side, Sam McCallum had a stoumach upset.
“We’re looking at players. Ilias Chair not being available, Stefan (Johansen) looking after him, Charlie Austin looking after him, so it was doing what we had to do.
“We’re a good team that looks after the football but we didn’t do that second half. In all honesty, with the fantastic away support we had tonight we didn’t play anywhere near our level and deserved to lose the game.”
The R’s travel up to the KCOM Stadium on Saturday to face newly-promoted Hull and Warburton provided an update on who would be involved in training ahead of that game.
“We’ll have a training group tomorrow of about six,” he explained. “The likes of Stefan (Johansen), 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.
“We’ve got this schedule and no one can explain it to me.”
Amos has been sidelined since October 2020 due to injury but though he is back in training, the midfielder is not expected to return to match action just yet.
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This is a promising update from an R’s perspective, with both Chair and Amos training this week and McCallum’s absence due to illness rather than a long-term injury.
The Norwich City loanee’s issue has been played down by the club, which suggests that he should be back ready to feature soon.
The Amos news is particularly exciting given how long he’s been out injured, though it does seem as though supporters will have to wait a little while yet to see him in action.
The trio should all have important roles to play for the west London club this season and you feel that Warburton will need his whole squad playing well if the R’s are to challenge for a play-off place.
Games against Hull and Boro over the next week will be the first test of that.