IAN Holloway has predicted QPR will face one of the toughest fixtures of their season when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.
Holloway takes his R’s squad into the game in good spirits after an opening-day victory against Reading was followed up by a Carabao Cup triumph over Northampton Town in midweek.
But with the Owls keen to get their season up-and-running after defeat at Preston last weekend, Holloway is predicting a tough afternoon’s work for his side.
“There’s a good feeling,” said the R’s boss.
“The lads gave us everything against Reading and Northampton. I want them all to understand that this club is very, very special, and worth fighting for.
“I want us to compete in every single game, and I believe we can – but we’ll have to be flat out to do that.
“I think Sheffield Wednesday away from home is going to be one of the toughest fixtures anybody could have this season.
“They have got a lot of expectation there now after how well they have done in the last two seasons. They do believe their club is on the rise, and that can bring its own pressure.
“We’ll go there and look to do what we do well, and that’s get in people’s faces, disrupt the way they play, and look to break off of that.”
Kazenga LuaLua goes straight into the squad for this weekend’s game after joining the club on loan until January on Friday, and Holloway is excited about what the Brighton attacker can offer.
“I need people fit, I need people ready to go and I need different types, and Kaz is one of those who has something that we haven’t got,” he explained.
“To have people who can carry the ball for your team if your team aren’t passing very well, if you’re getting blocked up, someone who can leave an opponent on his backside and looking a bit silly, that opens up the door for us.
“Kaz can give me that, and he’s got experience, and he’s the right age, and he’s in a situation where he has to do it for himself because he is in the last year of his contract.
“Luke Freeman is another who can do that, Mass Luongo has got all sorts of abilities, and we probably haven’t seen all of them from him yet – and that’s exciting.
“Let’s have a look on Saturday and see what we can do against a very competent, growing, Championship-challenging team.”
While LuaLua goes straight into the squad, Idrissa Sylla misses out owing to a head injury sustained against Northampton, while Yeni Ngbakoto is also unavailable after suffering an ankle injury in training.
Having successfully come through 90 minutes against the Cobblers on Tuesday night, Steven Caulker is expected to be rested this weekend, while Grant Hall remains sidelined with tendonitis.
Despite having six stitches in his face following an aerial collision in midweek, Matt Smith is expected to travel.