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Queens Park Rangers: Ian Holloway wants to bounce back at Cardiff City after Carabao Cup exit

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 August 2017

Steven Caulker scored the opening goal for Queens Park Rangers at Cardiff City in a 2-0 win last season (pic: Simon Galloway/PA)

Steven Caulker scored the opening goal for Queens Park Rangers at Cardiff City in a 2-0 win last season (pic: Simon Galloway/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

QPR boss hopes midweek exit from cup does not hit league campaign

Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway (pic: Scott Heavey/PA) Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway (pic: Scott Heavey/PA)

Queens Park Rangers head to early Sky Bet Championship leaders on Saturday, hoping their Carabao Cup exit on Tuesday night at the hands of local rivals Brentford does not have an adverse affect.

The Loftus Road club suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to their fierce rivals, the Bees, as they crashed out of the cup in the second round.

Rs’ focus is now fully on the league until their FA Cup campaign begins in January, and boss Ian Holloway will hope to build on their positive start to the new term.

From their opening four league games, the west Londoners have taken seven points, losing just the once.

It will be a tough task when they make the trip to Wales this weekend to face a Bluebirds side that is only one of two teams in the league the boast a 100 per cent record, the other being Ipswich Town.

But Holloway says the cup exit to divisional rivals Brentford in midweek will not change how his team will approach their league fixtures.

“The defeat hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for what we’re doing in the league and in the performances in the league,” said the 54-year-old.

“We are the best at closing down in the opposition half in the top two divisions.

“That’s something to be proud of. We haven’t got slaughtered like a lot of people thought we would, but we lost against Brentford.”

The trip to Cardiff this weekend will also see QPR defender Steven Caulker come up against his chosen club if selected to play.

The 25-year-old is currently being eased back into match action, having featured just twice for the west Londoners since October 2016.

Against Brentford on Tuesday, the centre-back lasted 75 minutes, before being replaced by Matt Smith as QPR looked to haul themselves back into the match.

It may be too soon for Caulker to be involved in the league this weekend, but with injuries to centre-backs James Perch and Joel Lynch in recent weeks, Holloway knows the defender may have to start a Championship game in the near future.

“Steven is coming back and we’re going to need that with the injuries we picked up at the weekend,” he added.

“Is our squad as strong as I want it? Even after looking at it against Brentford, probably not, but there were a lot of positives for me.”

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