Roberts aiming to put injury worries behind him

Tyler Roberts admits his start to life at QPR has been frustrating but is hopeful of now cementing his spot in the starting line-up.

The 23-year-old scored his first league goal for the club in Saturday’s a 2-1 win at Bristol City and completed 90 minutes for the first time since December last year.

Roberts, who joined on loan from Leeds in July with an option in place to make the move permanent at the end of the campaign, has struggled with fitness since his arrival, having sustained a serious thigh injury last March that disrupted his pre-season.

He found the net midway through the first half at Ashton Gate when he met Kenneth Paal’s cross at the back post to prod home.

“You always get a few niggles when you have a bad injury so it has been a bit stop-start since I’ve been here,” Roberts said.

“That’s probably the worst thing for me because I am someone who just wants to go – the physios will tell you that.

“I have just been on to them about doing more but I am happy to come through that and it was my first 90 minutes in God knows how long.

“The coaches here keep telling me to get into the box. As a striker that is where you are going to get most of your goals.

“That is something I have to get better at and the game proved to me that by just getting in there you will get those tap ins.

“Those are the type of chances you need for your first goal, no time to think about it, I knew when Chrissy (Willock) got it, there either be a shot or a pass coming.

“So when he rolled it to Kenneth I know he has the quality to pick out that space.”

“It’s great when you have players like him, Ethan (Laird) and Ilias (Chair) and you know if you get in the box the ball will come.”

In addition to scoring what proved to be the decisive goal, Roberts’ defensive work was important in closing out the win – a side of his game that endeared him to former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

However, after the Argentine’s departure last February, the former West Brom man’s days at Elland Road were numbered under Jesse Marsch, who told him he wasn’t part of his plans.

“I had been injured as soon as the new manager came in so he hadn’t really seen me play,” Roberts said.

“Throughout the summer, with the way we ended last season, they were always going to get in new players and the give the manager his own transfer window.

“I was just one of the fringe players. I wasn’t pushed out. It was a mutual agreement to go and get my games and prove to people I can stay fit and score goals.”

Roberts also hopes his move to W12 will help him secure his spot in the Wales squad for next month’s World Cup.

“That is obviously a big thing for any player in the summer transfer window – you have to be out there playing or you are going to be at risk of missing World Cup selection,” he said.