Forgotten QPR midfielder fit to replace Faurlin, says Bircham

PUBLISHED: 11:45 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:46 06 November 2013

Samba Diakite

Samba Diakite

PA Archive/Press Association Images

QPR elite development squad boss Marc Bircham says midfielder Samba Diakite is fit to step into the first team in place of the injured Alejandro Faurlin.

Mali international Diakite has made just one appearance for Harry Redknapp’s side this season, against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup in August.

But with Faurlin ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Diakite was drafted into Bircham’s EDS side for the 4-3 win over AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Diakite was the only over-age player to appear in the team, and Bircham said the 24-year-old is ready for the weekend’s trip to Reading if needed.

“We had Samba in there, that’s largely because of the sad news of Ale Faurlin’s injury,” said Bircham. “We need him match-fit now so he’s ready. Credit to him, he worked hard.”

Bircham saw his side come from behind against AFC Wimbledon to run out narrow winners and secure their place in the next round of the Premier League Cup.

A Tom Hitchcock hat-trick, along with a fine strike from Sam Magri, was enough to see Rangers through, but Bircham warned against defensive mistakes.

He added: “It was a tough game and at the same time it wasn’t really. I think we were better than the 4-3 suggests and we had quite a few chances – in the first-half especially.

“We’ve been like this a lot this year, we’re great going forward and maybe because we are so attacking, we do let a few goals in.

“I’ve seen the goals and a few of them have come from mistakes which we could have stopped very easily so that’s disappointing. But when we’re scoring goals and attacking like we do then you’re going to get that.”

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