Sunday 17 December 2017

Mixed injury news for QPR

Charlie Austin will miss QPR's trip to Sunderland in midweek
Charlie Austin will miss QPR's trip to Sunderland in midweek

QPR suffered mixed news on the injury front on Sunday with the relief that Charlie Austin will only miss one game tempered by confirmation that defenders Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha face longer spells on the sidelines.

All three sustained injuries in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton at Loftus Road, with Austin and Dunne leaving the ground on crutches.

While 13-goal top scorer Austin is only set to miss the midweek encounter with Sunderland with bruising to his right foot, the club confirmed on Sunday afternoon that Dunne will be out for up to three months having suffered a medial cruciate ligament injury in his right knee.

Onuoha also sustained a hamstring problem which will keep him out for three to four weeks.

Irishman Dunne, 35, has started 17 of Rangers' 24 Premier League matches so far this season, while Onuoha has featured 12 times, with 11 of those appearances coming in the starting XI.

Meanwhile, QPR midfielder Karl Henry has admitted Harry Redknapp's resignation was "hugely unsettling" for the team, but insisted they still believed they would avoid the drop this season.

QPR are second bottom, having lost five consecutive matches in all competitions.

Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond are expected to remain in charge for Tuesday's game at Sunderland, with the club yet to appoint a permanent successor to Redknapp, who resigned last week.

"Times of uncertainty are not nice," Henry said.

"But we're professionals, we have to come in and get on with it.

"I've certainly had managerial changes in my career and it's part of football, it's the nature of the beast.

"It's been hugely unsettling. It's not nice, but we have to get on with the challenge ahead.

"It was definitely a surprise, once the chairman said Harry was going to remain as manager, that's what we thought was going to happen until the end of the season.

"We didn't see it coming as I'm sure nobody else did in football."

Tim Sherwood remains the clear favourite to fill the vacancy at Loftus Road, having worked with both Ramsey and director of football Les Ferdinand at Tottenham.

Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement and Derby manager Steve McClaren have also been linked with the post.

"I'm not going to say who I think should be in charge, I'm a player, I do as I'm told," Henry said.

"I've heard good things about (Sherwood), I've heard he's a good coach.

"I know from the type of player he was, he expects players to give 100 per cent and he likes English players as well.

"But whoever comes in - everybody's on board, nobody in the changing room is causing any problems or moaning about who might come in.

"Whoever comes in will want to change a few things and hopefully that keeps us in the league."

Ramsey made four changes to the starting line-up against Southampton, including a recall for out-of-favour forward Adel Taarabt.

Taarabt was branded "overweight" by Redknapp in October and the Moroccan struggled to make an impact before being replaced in the second half.

"Adel is a good lad, contrary to belief he's a good person to have around the place," Henry added.

"I don't think I've played with a better player than Adel.

"His ability is frightening at times and if he can get himself into the form he's shown in previous years for QPR where he wins games almost by himself, who wouldn't want someone like that around the place?"

Redknapp, meanwhile, believes there is "every chance" that Sherwood could replace him as Hoops manager.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme, the 67-year-old said: "I would think there's every chance that Tim would go there.

"Les (Ferdinand) is there and Chris Ramsey, and they've brought a chief scout in from Tottenham, so it's pretty much set up for Tim.

"But I don't know for sure. Tony (Fernandes, QPR owner) didn't say to me he was going to bring Tim in. I just hope whoever comes in can keep the team up."

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