RANGERS boss Mark Warburton is wary of the challenge this weekend’s opponents Reading will provide us with, despite their difficult start to the campaign.
Having only picked up three points from their first five Sky Bet Championship clashes, the Royals sit in 21st place.
In contrast, the R’s currently occupy third spot thanks to an unbeaten opening month.
Of course, the Super Hoops headed into the international break following the impressive 2-0 victory over Coventry City, with goals from Lyndon Dykes and Yoann Barbet wrapping up the points in W12.
"We were on a good run, but the break came at a good time for us, physically," the R’s boss told www.qpr.co.uk. “We faced seven games in 21 days, which was a challenge, but now we know we face seven more in 22 days, so the break was vitally important for us.
“The lads have to recognise what we have done well during the opening few games, but we have dropped four points at home, and we have to identify what we need to do to be solid and compact.
“We now face another busy schedule, so there are some real challenges against some tough opposition. Of course everyone faces the same but it puts some real demand on the squad and we have to take it one game at a time, starting with Reading this weekend.”
During the international break, the likes of Dykes, Ilias Chair and Seny Dieng were with their respective national sides for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers. Warburton believes such periods can have many advantages and disadvantages for his players.
He added: “The international break takes all sorts of challenges - Ilias arrived safely back from a tough situation in Guinea and of course everyone else returned safely, but we are very conscious of the lads getting very little rest - all teams face this problem and it’s a challenge we must overcome.
“However, the lads can gain a huge amount from being away with their respective national sides, they go away to represent their countries in World Cup qualifiers, games which are of real significance.
“Lyndon scored two in two for example, of course it gives them a boost, it also raises their profile. But the simple physical fact is they are getting no break whatsoever and that is my biggest concern, they will literally break at some stage, injury-wise.
“They need a recharge opportunity, but we have to make sure we look after those players whenever we possibly can.”
The R’s will head out at the recently-renamed Select Car Leasing Stadium in front of a sold-out QPR away end, and the Rangers boss was keen to highlight how important such travelling support is to the side.
He said: “It’s really pleasing to see the number of QPR fans that will be making the trip, of course it’s disappointing for the supporters who couldn’t get tickets, but it shows that the fans are really behind this team and both the players and staff really recognise that.
“We have had some great support, with some great noise already this season but we have to make sure that we continue to produce performances that the supporters want to come and watch.
“Reading have lost some players and with that some goals this season, but they are a good team, they have recruited well with some real Premier League experience coming in.
“We are very aware that they had a tough time going into the international break, so their mindset will be about coming out on Saturday and producing a strong performance in front of their fans.
"We have to recognise, embrace and meet that challenge and that’s what we will do."