Diakite to join QPR squad on overseas trip

Mark Hughes will take his players for a break in the sun next week – and plans to use the trip to help Samba Diakite settle among his new team-mates.

QPR have a two-week gap in fixtures after Saturday’s game at Blackburn and manager Hughes wants them to recharge their batteries ahead of the London derby against Fulham on 25 February.

The trip has not yet been finalised, with Portugal a possible destination for the squad.

And midfielder Diakite, Rangers’ recent signing from Nancy, is expected to join them after playing in Mali’s final match at the Africa Cup of Nations this weekend.

“He’s got a third v fourth-placed play-off to play in and I’m hoping he’ll then come straight over to join us,” Hughes confirmed.

Hughes will hope his side fly out in buoyant mood after the vital game at Blackburn, where a victory against his former club would ease Rangers’ relegation worries.

Recent home defeats have left QPR struggling at the wrong end of the table, with the sending-off of Joey Barton against Norwich and Djibril Cisse against Wolves proving costly.

Hughes believes those dismissals cost the R’s six points, but insisted: “You can look back on spilt milk, but we can’t do anything about it.

“You’ve got to get on with it – the games you’ve got ahead of you. That’s what we’re focusing on. It’s important that we’re really positive.”

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