QPR defender Clarke-Salter set for return to full training

QPR defender Jake Clarke-Salter will finally return to full training this week following the hamstring problem which has sidelined him since the opening day of the season.

The return of the former England Under-21 skipper, who joined from Chelsea in the summer, leaves Taylor Richards as the only player in the first-team squad still on the sidelines following a thigh injury he picked up in training in August.

Midfielder Luke Amos returned to training last week and Rangers boss Mick Beale says he is looking forward to getting back into action at Millwall on Wednesday following the postponement of Saturday’s fixture with Huddersfield, but admits the extra training time has been hugely beneficial.

“I have obviously been very keen to have more training time with the group, especially as we are getting players back fit and available,” Beale said.

“The level of training has gone up and I am a coach that believes you earn the right to play by how you train day in day out.

“Luke Amos has been back in training, which is great. Jake Clarke-Salter will be back with the team on Thursday or Friday.

“That leaves us just without Taylor and there are a few others nursing niggles. There is a false reality that football players play when they are fresh. Most players play when they have a few niggles and aches all the time.”

Rangers have got off to a solid start to the season under new head coach Beale, having won three, lost three and drawn two of their opening eight games.

But the former Aston Villa and Glasgow Rangers assistant boss insists he is only beginning to scratch the surface of what he wants to instil into the team.

“I have still not been in the post for three months and in that time already we have done loads behind the scenes,” he said.

“But we are only 10% towards where we want to be.

“From doing up the changing rooms at Loftus Road to meeting early on a matchday to eat, recruitment, the way we work as a staff and integrating more players into training from the academy – there is a hell of lot of good work going on behind the scenes.

“I get that people who just see us on a Saturday get a snap judgement on whether we are developing or not and I am quite pleased with that snap judgement we have given people so far.

“But we are trying to put strong foundations in place that over time will make us stronger.

“It it hard to pick a squad at the moment, we had 24 outfield players training today (Tuesday) but only 18 will travel tomorrow. That leaves me with eight disappointed players plus two goalkeepers.

“I’ve said before, we don’t have a problem with numbers and people often think the squad is thin.

“But it is not when you have 24 players training every day – that’s like a World Cup squad.”