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Eustace: We must focus on ourselves

JOHN Eustace wants the QPR players to focus on what they can do when they take on Derby County at Pride Park on Monday afternoon.

The Rams sit three points outside the top six and will be looking to keep themselves in the playoff picture. QPR, meanwhile, are eight points clear of the bottom three and are aiming to cement their Championship status.

“Derby are a quality team and have top players as well as a very good manager,” Eustace told www.qpr.co.uk.

“But what we have to do is focus on ourselves and concentrate on what we want to do.

“We will be fully prepared. We are still in a relegation dogfight and we have to go there and be positive.

“We know we are facing a very good side but the lads will be ready for that. We have to stand up to what they give us, and make sure we give back more.

“This is a big game for us.”

Eustace, in caretaker charge of the R’s, is having to deal with a growing injury list for the run-in but he has no intention of dwelling on the fact that a number of potential starters are unavailable for selection.

Jordan Cousins is out with an ankle injury sustained in the 2-1 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Friday while Joel Lynch suffered a hamstring issue in the same game.

Angel Rangel (calf) and Jake Bidwell (thigh) will also be unavailable for the trip to the East Midlands, while Toni Leistner (illness) and Grant Hall (groin) remain doubtful.

“There is no hiding the fact we have a lot of injuries at the moment,” Eustace said, “but what’s important is that we get the strongest and fittest side together to face what is a very good Derby team.

"This provides a great opportunity for some of our talented U23 and academy players to be involved. We saw it with Lewis Walker who made his debut against Swansea, and Chay Tilt who was on the bench on Friday.

“There are no excuses. We are going to go there and look to give a good account of ourselves.”

Eustace spent two years at Derby as a player and has fond memories of his time as a Ram, but there will be no mixed emotions come Monday afternoon.

“This is just another game as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “The last thing I am going to be thinking about is anything other than preparing the boys to get a positive result.

“I had a great time at Derby but this is a new stage of my career and all I am focused on is what’s best for QPR.

“We know we have got it in us and we will look to be as competitive as we can at Derby to get a positive result.”

We have to stand up to what they give us, and make sure we give back more.

John Eustace