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Preview: QPR v Blues

They’ve shown me from the beginning that they bounce back quickly like they did after the game against Cambridge. We’ve lost two games, but we are in October and it is still really early.

Aitor Karanka

Our full match preview ahead of Blues' Sky Bet Championship fixture against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Aito Karanka on the mood in the camp after Tuesday's defeat at Norwich and how the players are looking physically...
"They were obviously disappointed when you lose a game so late on. They were tired, but I think more mentally than physically. But this squad is strong, and they’ve shown me from the beginning that they bounce back quickly like they did after the game against Cambridge. We’ve lost two games, but we are in October and it is still really early."

Aitor Karanka on the areas he wants to see improvement in...
"We obviously need to improve when we have the ball, but it takes time. And it is even more difficult when you lose two key players (Lukas Jutkiewicz and Jon Toral in two days) and another key player like Leko has been out for 10 months. The main thing for me is to have an organised team and keep going. When we have a fit squad for sure we will play much better and score more goals."

Aitor Karanka on what he expects against QPR on Saturday...
"I expect another tough test because after losing a game especially at home 2-0, we are going to find a harder team. But we’ve lost our last two games, so we need to forget about the opponent, but we need to approach the game in the right way and try and win it."

Aitor Karanka on the need for his side to create more goalscoring opportunities...
"We are not creating enough chances and we need to create much more. I am the first one to say we need to play much better, but we are in the process of building our offensive ability. We are a difficult team to beat now, and when we get the players back we are going to have more chances for sure."

Aitor Karanka on the need to ease Jonathan Leko back into regular action...
"We have to be careful because he’s young and he hadn’t been training with us for a while, just two or three weeks. He’s not 100 per cent but even when he’s not 100 per cent he gives us a lot of good things. He made some mistakes against Norwich because he was exhausted, but when you are tired you make mistakes. He will be an important player for us."

Aitor Karanka asked if he would be looking to tweak his formation on Saturday against QPR...
"I said at the beginning that my preferred shape is 4-2-3-1, but when you are missing that number 10 you have to look at other alternatives. Now I have to analyse QPR and I will see. I don’t know if it will be three at the back or 4-2-3-1 or maybe 4-3-3. I need to adapt the team for the best for the game."

Blues team news...
Jake Clarke-Salter is unavailable for at least two to three weeks because of a slight calf problem. Josh McEachran remains out (ACL). Jon Toral missed Blues' last two matches with a groin injury but may come back into consideration for this weekend. Lukas Jutkiewicz has been out with a confirmed case of Coronavirus but will return when he has been given the medical all-clear.

QPR team news...
Striker Lyndon Dykes is expected to be available having missed the R's last two games with a thigh strain. Midfielder Luke Amos is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Head to head...
QPR wins: 22
Draws: 16
Blues wins: 23

Last five meetings between QPR and Blues...
Championship 29 Feb 2020 QPR 2 Blues 2
Championship 11 Dec 2019 Blues 0 QPR 2
Championship 09 Feb 2019 QPR 3 Blues 4
Championship 01 Sep 2018 Blues 0 QPR 0
Championship 28 Apr 2018 QPR 3 Blues 1

Form guide last five games...
QPR: LDDDL
Blues: DDDLL

BluesTV...
This match will be available to watch on BluesTV for just £10. Click here for further details. If you’re an existing international package subscriber you will not need to purchase a pay-per-view package, as it is included within your current subscription.

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