Johansen and Balogun still out for QPR

QPR will again be without skipper Stefan Johansen and defender Leon Balogun for Saturday’s trip to Preston.

Johansen is still working his way back to fitness from a heel injury and Balogun is recovering from a calf injury sustained  before the break before World Cup break.

“Stefan won’t be ready yet and Leon won’t be ready either, but everyone else I believe will be fit and available and ready to go,” new QPR boss Neil Critchley said.

“Some are at different stages of fitness having just returned to training but we have had some positive news this week and we are not far from everyone being fit.

“That is a massive part of your season everyone being fit.”

Critchley will take the side for the first time at Deepdale, where he admits he is braced for a hostile reception from the home crowd given his connection with Preston’s Lancashire rivals Blackpool, who he managed last season.

However, he is confident he has inherited a squad that is good enough to end their run of poor results against a team that is fresh from a 4-1 hammering of local rivals Blackburn last week.

“I am not sure I will be getting a decent reception up there,” he said.

“But Preston are in good form, Ryan Lowe has done a great job and we know we face a tough test.

“But I am fully aware of the the team and the squad here because I have seen a lot of the players and came up against them twice last year, so I have a general observation from afar.

“But when you walk in to a building for the first time you take people at face value and there is no doubt there are some good players here.

“They fell away last year after a good start and it is a similar pattern at the moment and it is up to me to turn that around and get to work as quickly as possible and improve at both ends of the field.

“If we can do that, there is enough quality to be looking up the table.”