QPR youngster Armstrong ‘100% a first-team player’

QPR striker Sinclair Armstrong
Sinclair Armstrong has looked exciting since being given a chance in the QPR side (Picture: Ian Randall | MI News)

QPR boss Mick Beale says young striker Sinclair Armstrong has given him something to think about after scoring a hat-trick for the club’s Under-21 side on Friday.

Armstrong has been brought into the first-team set-up under Beale this season and has made eight appearances in all competitions – all as a substitute.

The 19-year-old has not been included in the past two squads, against Millwall and Stoke City, however, and instead featured for the Under-21 side on Friday against Cardiff City.

But Beale insists that he sees the youngster as a first-team player, and wanted to give him more game time following several appearances as a substitute.

“Scoring a hat-trick certainly makes me think, doesn’t it?” Beale said.

“If he plays in the B team, he’s dropping in for the day and then dropping out. It was a chance to send six or seven down to Cardiff that weren’t going to be involved (against Stoke).

“I’ve been mindful that he’s come on and played 20 and 30 minutes. He’s a young boy, he needs to play and breathe, and he needs a goal as well.

“I feel that if he goes and plays at that level, he gets a big boost. What have I got to lose with two weeks of the international break?

“I’m delighted with Sinclair. There’s a lot that’s changed in his life. Just as much that has changed in mine, has changed in his, and I’ve just got to be mindful of that.

“But he is 100% a first-team player. He trains with us every day, he’s in our changing room. We had a little ceremony last week when we officially brought him in because he’s been changing with the academy and coming across.

“We love him, but it’s important we bring him on at the speed we think, and it’s important he has opportunities to play and play regularly and then he can come into our team where he’s coming off the bench.”

QPR’s first team do not play until October 1 due to the international break, and with several of Rangers’ squad going away with their respective national teams, Beale says he will use the break as an opportunity to coach the club’s youth squads.

“What the international break gives me a chance to do is go and coach the Under-21s and the Under-18s, which I haven’t been able to do because they train at the same time as us,” he said.

“Hopefully there are one or two more Sinclair’s hanging around.”