Willock fit to return for QPR

Chris Willock was outstanding for QPR before his recent injury (Picture: Ian Randall Photography)

Chris Willock has been passed fit to return for QPR’s trip to Norwich on Wednesday in a timely boost following Friday’s defeat at Birmingham.

The talismanic forward, who has scored six goals in nine appearances this season, has missed the past five matches after limping off against Sheffield United on October 4.

Willock returned to training 10 days ago but Rangers boss Mick Beale resisted the temptation to throw him straight back into the side, given the number of matches he has sat out since tearing the hamstring on his other leg last March.

“We have played 18 games this season and he has played nine, which is not enough for a player that is so important to us,” Beale said.

“It’s no fault of Chris’s as he has come back from his first big injury of his career, and it’s been tough on him coming back this season as he has had a couple of niggles.

“But when has played he has done well and adds a dimension to the team. In the last few weeks it’s not been great not having him, and us having four games in 11 days is not ideal him coming back in the middle of that, and you have to be careful not to re-injure someone.

“So we will use him wisely across the four games and I am sure he will start a couple and come on in a couple.”

Rangers have won just once at Carrow Road in 28 years and that was back in 2008, when a Martin Rowlands’ goal helped the 10-man visitors hang on for a rare three points in Norfolk.

A win for the Canaries would see them go above Beale’s side and the head coach hinted that he may not start Willock.

“I’ll look at it at over the next 24 hours and see where the squad is at and what we need, knowing we have West Brom and Huddersfield at home very quickly after Wednesday,” he said.

“We have to make sure we have a very strong game plan and not have anyone on the pitch who is not 100 per cent physically.

“Early injuries at Luton didn’t give us the chance to get any continuity and rhythm and that certainly was the case at Birmingham.”

Rangers lost Tyler Roberts, Stefan Johnansen and Jake Clarke-Salter to injury at St Andrew’s and all three will miss the Norwich and West Brom matches.

Johansen and Clarke-Salter are expected to return before the World Cup break, which starts after the trip to Coventry on November 12.

Wales international Roberts will not return for QPR before the World Cup – but Beale insists the on-loan Leeds forward will be ready for the tournament. 

“Stefan has a heel and ankle issue which he is dealing with, but it’s not too serious,” Beale said.

“We’ve had some good news on Jake. He might miss the next couple of games but it’s nothing worse than that.

“I was really worried about it. So when the doctor called to give me the news I was really pleased.

“We’ve still got to wait to see how it settles, but the diagnosis was really positive.”