Jones feared for under-strength QPR

Assistant manager Mick Jones has revealed he feared QPR were in line for a thrashing at Fulham in the build-up to Sunday’s 6-0 defeat.

Rangers were without the injured Danny Gabbidon and their defensive options were further limited when Matt Connolly, who was to replace the banned Armand Traore, suffered a twisted ankle on the eve of the game.

That prompted Jones, who had watched Fulham ahead of the match, to tell R’s boss Neil Warnock he believed Rangers could be heading for trouble.

“I have to say I was a bit fearful and I made those feelings known to Neil,” Jones told West London Sport.

“Usually after a bad defeat you want to play again as soon as possible, but in this case the break has come at the right time for us.”

“Everything that could go wrong was going wrong for us and I’d seen Fulham and felt if they played both Andy Johnson – who was on fire in their previous game – and Bobby Zamora,  as well as Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele, then we might have a problem.

“It was the first time this season all four of those started for Fulham, and we’d had a terrible couple of days going into the match. So it was was the perfect time for Fulham and the worst possible time for us.

“For one reason or another Johnson and Zamora hadn’t been playing together, and with the problems we were experiencing going into the game I was fearful of what might happen if they played.

“Unfortunately my fears were realised when they scored in the first couple of minutes and when they scored the second I was thinking ‘we could be in for a long, hard afternoon here.’

“There’s no problem picking the players up after that because they know the situation we found ourselves in.”

Rangers hope Gabbidon will recover from a hamstring problem in time for their next match, at home to Blackburn on 15 October.

Traore will be available for that game and the international break should help Fitz Hall, who played at Fulham despite complaining of a hamstring strain shortly before kick-off.

Hall is nursing a hamstring strain

Jones admitted: “Usually after a bad defeat you want to play again as soon as possible, but in this case the break has come at the right time for us.

“We need that time to get some of those lads fit again and raring to go for the next game. We’ll be okay.”

Traore will be hit with a fine – part of which will probably be suspended until next year – for his recent sending-off against Aston Villa.

Warnock was furious with the left-back after his late dismissal for a second bookable offence, branding the Traore “a disgrace.”

But Warnock was not fazed by Adel Taarabt’s reaction to being substituted at the weekend.

Taarabt did not stick around after being told he was being taken off at half-time, but will not face any disciplinary action and Jones has dismissed reports of discontent in the Rangers camp caused by the Moroccan’s behaviour.

Jones said: “It’s all a load of absolute rubbish, it really is. We’re perfectly fine with the situation – it’s people outside who have made an issue of it. It’s a total non-issue.

“Armand, now he left us in the lurch and you can’t do that and expect to not be fined. I think Armand will be a top player but he’s got to learn from that. He won’t do it again, I’ll tell you that.”