QPR boss Mick Beale admits his decision to leave Jimmy Dunne out of his starting line-up for the win at Bristol City was a difficult one.
Dunne was omitted in favour of the fit-again Jake Clarke-Salter despite helping the team record back-to-back clean sheets, but came on for the final 30 minutes at Ashton Gate to help close out a 2-1 victory.
Clarke-Salter limped off with cramp after City had pulled a goal back through Nahki Wells, after putting an impressive display on his first appearance since the opening day of the season.
He is expected to be fit for Tuesday’s visit to league leaders Sheffield United.
With Rob Dickie now back in full training, Beale said he is going to need all four centre-backs available this week with in-form Reading visiting to Loftus Road on Friday.
“Leon (Balogun) had a bit of an issue going into the game and I knew Jake couldn’t knock out three games in a week with Tuesday and Friday being close,” Beale said.
“Obviously Jimmy came out and was disappointed. But he came on and contributed and Rob is back in training now so come Tuesday we have all four fit.
“This league is relentless and you need a squad and we have four good centre-halves and we are going to need them.”
A lapse by Balogun led to City’s goal but the 34-year-old has impressed since his recent arrival at the club.
Beale said: “Leon proved he is human by making a big error for the goal, but he has been immaculate since he came into the club so we are very strong in that area.
“It was very difficult for me to make the call (to drop Dunne). It’s one that will split everyone’s opinion.
“The level of centre-halves we’ve got, how do you pick two? But I thought it was a strong defensive performance.
“They had two chances in the first half and even in the second when they had a lot of the ball I thought we defended Seny Dieng really well and he came and claimed important crosses and looked a very good goalkeeper.”