QPR boss Ian Holloway admits this weekend’s double-header against Reading is an “unusual” pre-season fixture, with our first game of the 2017/18 campaign being against the Royals in less than a month’s time.
However, the R’s chief firmly believes it will aid his squad’s preparation to face such strong Championship opposition.
“Jaap Stam wants this game just like I do,” Holloway told www.qpr.co.uk.
“For us, it doesn’t matter that we’re playing each other on the opening day, that’s just how it has worked out.
“The fact is, they are a good, footballing side and we are going to take them on in a training session. Neither side will be the same come the opening day.”
QPR will play two behind-closed-doors games against Stam’s side on Saturday, allowing Holloway to give plenty of match minutes to his entire squad.
“It sounds unusual, but it’s about pre-season training and getting your squad, which is two lots of teams, fully fit,” he added.
“It’s unusual as well for the players to be looking at completing 90 minutes at this stage of pre-season, but I have to say I think our lads are well ahead of schedule.”
Holloway made 11 changes at half-time during QPR’s 4-0 win over Bromley on Tuesday afternoon at Harlington, which enabled a large contingent of his squad to get 45 minutes of action under their belts.
“Normally you’d go 45 minutes, then 60, then possibly 90, but I am that pleased with where the lads are, I am looking at giving as many of them 90 minutes on Saturday as I can.
“I will be taking some of the younger lads as well, just in case some of the boys are struggling. Obviously it’s hot, so we have to be careful.
“But I want to try and get as many players through the full 90 as possible.”
Such is the hectic nature of Championship football, Holloway believes the closure of the loan window outside of the transfer window has also changed the landscape when it comes to how you prepare for the new season.
“With the loan window not being open after the transfer one shuts, you have to have a full squad ready and fit,” he said.
“That’s something we have all got to learn.
“In the past, you didn’t have to fill up your bus at the start of the season as your journey began. You could leave the doors open, and pick someone up along the way.
“You can’t do that now. You have to have everybody on board – and fit – from the start.”
Holloway confirmed this weekend’s fixtures have come too early for recent arrival Josh Scowen, as he works on building up his fitness.