IAN Holloway is expecting a confident Burton Albion side to arrive at Loftus Road on Saturday following their last two league fixtures.
Nigel Clough’s men picked up four points from tough fixtures at Norwich (0-0) and home to Fulham (2-1), and Holloway is full of admiration for the way the Brewers have progressed from non-league to the Championship in the space of eight years.
“Every game is a challenge and Burton showed with their last two results that they are a fantastic team,” Holloway told www.qpr.co.uk.
“Their manager is really good, they’ve got a fantastic spirit and they’re showing a lot of clubs how you can build yourselves.
“They are probably in the best form they have been in all season so I am expecting them to be in very confident mood.
“It’s not about Burton’s budget, it’s about how their club is run and when you look at the squad I think they have done brilliantly.
“Lloyd Dyer showed his quality against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in the week, Luke Varney I’ve had before and he’s fantastic.
“You don’t progress and get somewhere by being lucky. You get there by having the right atmosphere, attitude and the way you go about things. They should be very proud of who they are and where they are – but we’re going to try and beat them!”
The R’s will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run in the league this season to five games, after picking up ten points from their first four games in W12, the most recent a 2-2 draw against Millwall.
While the bookies are backing QPR to pick up maximum points tomorrow, Holloway is fully aware of the challenge his charges will face.
“We notoriously aren’t very good if we’re favourites,” Holloway said, “and I don’t make us favourites for this, I see every game as the same.
“I don’t think you can say ahead of any game that we should win it because the teams are so close in the Championship.
“We have got a very tough game on our hands but we are in good form at home and I want to get back to winning ways if we can.”
Following Saturday’s game, the R’s travel to Barnsley on Tuesday night before hosting Fulham on Friday evening, and Holloway added: “If we can get three points this weekend it pushes us back up towards where we want to be.
“If we don’t get them, then it makes the next game harder. And it makes the next game more important.
“Every challenge is a different challenge. What are their strength? How will they play? How will they try to hurt us? The last few challenges we’ve had at home, we have faced all sorts of things and we have come out of it well.”
The QPR boss has a number of injuries to contend with.
Mass Luongo is out this weekend owing to illness.
At the back, Nedum Onuoha (hamstring), James Perch (knee), Grant Hall (tendonitis) and Joel Lynch (hamstring) are all unavailable, while Steven Caulker is continuing to build his fitness levels.
Hall, yet to feature this season, is expected to train outside next week as he steps up his rehab, while Holloway is hopeful Lynch and Caulker aren’t too far away from a return to action. Meanwhile, Jordan Cousins is back to full training following two months on the sidelines with a torn hamstring.
“We have got injuries but we’ve also got a very strong bench,” Holloway said. “We need to get Joel back fit, and Caulker fit and ready to play. They’re getting closer all the time.
“But I am really excited about the squad that we’re building and we’ve got, and I’m excited about seeing some more of the other ones play.
“We have got all sorts of options now with players like Yeni Ngbakoto, LuaLua, Bright Samuel, David Wheeler, Mide Shodipo who is now back training. It’s fantastic.”
And as the R’s go in search of victory on Saturday, Holloway added: “Hopefully our fans will be patient and will see our lads are out there working their socks off.