Chris Ramsey has backed Karl Henry following Sandro’s return to QPR and reiterated that the Brazilian midfielder will not walk straight into the team.
Ramsey recently made it clear that he would be in no rush to select Sandro, who is back at the club after an issue with his visa was finally resolved.
Sandro was signed from Tottenham for £6m a year ago and his £41,000-a-week contract makes him one of the highest-earning players at Loftus Road.
He sought assurances about his role at Rangers from Ramsey this week but the head coach is sticking to his guns and is determined to show loyalty to the likes of Henry.
“There has to be merit taken into consideration. Karl Henry has been very difficult to leave out,” Ramsey said.
“It’s not going to be on fame and money. It’s going to be on performance.
“There can be pressure [at clubs] to play people because they cost a lot of money and earn a lot of money.
“If there’s a 50-50, you tend to think in that direction because the owners want to see value for money.
“But I think three points always answers the questions about who you should play and who you shouldn’t play.”
Sandro was troubled by a knee complaint before his move from Spurs and his ongoing injury problems meant he made only 17 appearances for the R’s last season.
Henry, on the other hand, has been one of the club’s most consistent performers during his two years at QPR.
“Sandro came to see us the other day and asked ‘How far am I away’? Players want to play and we’ve got some healthy competition,” Ramsey said.
“I’ve told him he’s not in match condition yet and until he gets to match condition he won’t be considered for the squad.
“As soon as he’s in the shape that we think warrants a call-up, then I’d have to think about the other players who are fit at the moment and have been here.
“I think he takes that on board. He does extra training and is wholehearted and I think he’s going to enjoy this season.”
Ramsey and QPR director of football Les Ferdinand were both on the coaching staff at Tottenham during Sandro’s time at White Hart Lane.
Rangers discussed a potential deal to send him on loan to AC Milan before the recent transfer deadline but were unable to agree financial terms with the Italian club.