QPR youngster Kelman pushing for start

Young QPR striker Charlie Kelman could be in line for his first start against Norwich on Tuesday as Mark Warburton looks to find a solution to his side’s goalscoring woes.

The under-pressure manager saw Rangers’ winless run stretch to eight games after going down 2-0 against Swansea at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Boxing Day, making it three successive home games without finding the net.

Despite the defeat, they did look better going forward in the first half in particular, as Swansea struggled to deal with some decent balls into the box that were spurned by Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne.

Dykes has struggled to make an impact since his move from Livingston, scoring just one of his five goals from open play, and rarely threatened the Swansea defence.

Kelman, 19, who also impressed in a brief cameo against Bristol City last month, looked more of a threat when he came on for the final 25 minutes in place of Bonne – his longest run of minutes since moving from Southend in September.

The Essex-born United States Under-20 international, who made 35 appearances for the Shrimpers, scoring eight goals, showed good technique and awareness to hold the ball up – something Dykes has struggled to do since his move south.

He could now be pushing for a start at Carrow Road, potentially ahead of the Scotland international, with Warburton also pondering sticking with the 3-5-2 formation he used against the Swans.

“It was pleasing to see what Charlie Kelman did when he came off the bench,” Warburton said.

“We stretched them, had some good quality balls in the box and I was pleased with that.

“But it is pointless saying I am pleased, because we lost the game. You can be caned for making up excuses.

“That is the game, you earn your own luck. There are no excuses and we have to take responsibility.”

In defence, the back three of Yoann Barbet, Geoff Cameron and Rob Dickie were relatively comfortable until a sloppy goal on the stroke of half-time when an undefended cross from the left caused confusion and allowed Andre Ayew to nod home from close range.

The second goal, by Jamal Lowe, sealed the win and the high-flying Swans comfortably saw out the match, leaving Warburton struggling for positives but open to keeping the same shape with potentially different players on Tuesday.

“I am not saying I am pleased, we lost 2-0 at home, but I was pleased with aspects of the shape,” he said.

“In the first half I thought we were in control never really looked threatened.

“It depends on what is available, but absolutely (we may stay with the formation).

“We have to look at the personnel available. This week is literally the first time in ages we have had the chance to work with the boys on pattern of play.

“But when the chips are down you have to respond.”