IAN Holloway will be bringing a mixture of first-team and U23 players to the ABAX Stadium for this weekend’s pre-season friendly at Peterborough United.
As the QPR chief gets his squad ready for the big kick off against Reading at Loftus Road on 5th August, he confirmed he will be taking all necessary precautions to ensure he has a fully-fit squad for the visit of the Royals.
Joel Lynch, Grant Hall, Sean Goss, Luke Freeman and Jordan Cousins will be rested for Saturday’s game against the Posh – which will be played as a 120-minute fixture – while Reece Grego-Cox is a doubt.
Holloway explained: “We have to be careful at this stage of pre-season. There’s no point risking players unnecessarily with the season just three weeks away.
“Each player has his own individual programme, and we monitor all aspects of their fitness. Sometimes the best form of preparation is match minutes, and other times a rest is what they need. You have to adjust to that.”
Youngsters Ebere Eze, Ilias Chair, Charlie Owens and Giles Phillips are all expected to feature against Grant McCann’s side, and Holloway added:
“Peterborough will give us a good test, and this will give some of our younger lads great experience – to play alongside some of our senior players, and also to be competing against seasoned, senior pros.
“There is a big step-up from Under-23s football to first-team football, and this opportunity is great for their development.”
Holloway is still awaiting the return of two of his players, while two more will be introduced during the course of the 120-minute game against Peterborough.
“Mass Luongo and Michael Petrasso haven’t returned for pre-season yet owing to their international commitments, so it will be great when we can have them back in the building,” he added.
“Pawel (Wszolek) and Ariel (Borysiuk) only returned to us last week, so it’s too early for either of them to play much more than 60 minutes on Saturday.
“We have to manage them correctly, we can’t expect them to walk straight into 90 minutes after a week of training.
“For us, this is all about preparing the players for that opening game against Reading, and doing all we can to get them fitter than they’ve ever been.
“Peterborough will provide a strong test, and it will be another step forward for us in our preparation before we head out to Germany next weekend for two more games.”
Holloway also confirmed he is working hard with Director of Football Les Ferdinand and the scouting team to add to his squad.
“We are looking to bring in some more players which I feel the squad needs,” he said. “We made changes in January which really benefitted us and that’s what I am looking to do again.
“We are fully aware that we need to add to the squad, and we will be doing that, but we have to be patient.
“We won’t be panic buying, we have to make sure that we bring the right players in that fit into what we are looking to do here.
“We are working to do some deals to bring three or four new players in before the start of the season.”