QPR boss Eustace says squad is focused on Derby test

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 April 2019

Queens Park Rangers caretaker manager John Eustace (pic: Chris Radburn/PA)

Queens Park Rangers caretaker manager John Eustace (pic: Chris Radburn/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Queens Park Rangers caretaker manager John Eustace says his side are focused and ready for Derby County – despite being down to bare bones.

The R's will head to Pride Park on Easter Monday looking to secure their status in the Championship for next season.

They currently sit eight point clear of the relegation zone but the former Kidderminster Harriers boss says it's not job done yet.

“Rotherham can easily go and win those three games, no problems at all,” the 39-year-old said.

“The most important thing we're focusing on now is Monday, and that's all I'm focusing on as well.”

The boss will most likely have to play Ryan Manning at left-back for the fourth straight game and Pawel Wszolek at right-back.

Unless the medical staff clear Jake Bidwell or Grant Hall fully fit ahead of the test.

“We're down to the bare bones now. Obviously it's a different back four from last week but it's certainly not an excuse – we still weren't good enough.

“The boys who played, they all want to play, so it's up to them when they put the shirt on to play well.”

Striker Matt Smith could return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench to find the net in the 92nd minute of their 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers yesterday.

“He's been playing great. It was tough to leave him out against Swansea, because he's played well as Millwall, and he's come on and scored another goal today (Saturday).

“He's a very dangerous striker at this level and it was tough to leave him out, but I'm glad he came on and scored.”

Lewis Walker has been named on the bench in the last two matches and even got a handful of minutes in their 4-0 win over Swansea City.

Eustace says he would love to hand a few chances out to youngsters in the remaining fixtures but insists they can't until they are mathematically safe.

“I think the club would like that, and I certainly would as well, but we're not in that situation at the moment.

“We've got a really big game away at Derby now and it's important that we're competitive, that we show up and take it from there.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Brent & Kilburn Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Kilburn Times