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Holloway mixing up QPR’s pre-match plans

QPR boss Ian Holloway has ‘mixed things up’ this week ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship.

Instead of their usual Wednesday day-off, the R’s players were given Tuesday off this week, extending the preparation time for the visit to St. Andrews.

In addition, the Hoops will travel to the Midlands early this morning (Friday) and train at Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath Training Ground at lunchtime – another change from the norm ahead of an away fixture.

Holloway explained his thinking to “We’ve changed the schedule around a little bit this week.

“We gave the players Tuesday off instead of Wednesday, which has given us a little bit more time to specifically prepare for this match.

“We’ll travel Friday morning and we’re training up at Villa this lunchtime, which is something we wouldn’t normally do.

“It’s a horrible feeling when you’re going through a run like we are.

“We don’t feel we’re getting what we deserve, but there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to get ourselves going again and go on a positive run, which can make all the difference in this league.”

Holloway is expected to welcome Alex Baptiste back from suspension for the clash against the Blues, whilst Nedum Onuoha and Grant Hall are also in contention having come through their respective comebacks last weekend unscathed.

Jamie Mackie is serving the second game of a three-match suspension.

Holloway added: “Baps is back from suspension which gives us another defensive option, which is a big boost after the problems we’ve had back there.

“Hally hasn’t shown any reaction following his return last weekend from the bench and Nedum came through the 90 minutes unscathed last weekend.

“Perch is still a good few weeks away, but we’re getting a few back now.”

Rangers are winless in six matches, whilst Steve Cotterill’s Birmingham head into the weekend in the bottom three, with just one win in their last nine fixtures.

Regardless of those statistics, Holloway is under no illusions about the challenge that lies in wait for his team this weekend.

“We’re going through a difficult patch, as are they. But it’s a game we want to win and we’ll be doing everything within our powers to do so,” he said.

“Steve has a couple of ways of setting his side up, so we’ll be ready for whatever way he opts to go.

“He’s inherited a good squad of players at St. Andrews.

“Steve is a good coach and a good manager. His teams work hard and show plenty of endeavour.

“We won there quite comfortably last season, 4-1, and given that was the last time we won away from home, it’s a really important game for us.

“The lads have trained well this week. They’re not down in the dumps. They seems ready, they look bright and we’ll go there looking to win the game.

“We need to get back to winning ways.”

It’s a game we want to win and we’ll be doing everything within our powers to do so.

Ian Holloway
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