Mark Warburton has given his strongest indication yet that keeper David Marshall will keep his place in the QPR side following Seny Dieng’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal international Dieng arrived back in London on Thursday and is expected to travel with the squad for Saturday’s game at Barnsley.
But Marshall has impressed since being signed last month following an injury to back-up keeper Jordan Archer and made several key saves in the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
And manager Warburton once again hinted that the Scot will stay in the team.
Warburton said: “If someone went away to Afcon and they were a centre-forward and while he’s away I brought a guy in who scores two hat-tricks, do you play him or do you drop him?
“We’ve got to consider that these are competitive athletes. David Marshall is a lovely guy and so is Seny but don’t ever think that there’s not a burning fire to go and grab that jersey and keep that jersey.
“Seny’s done great. I’m delighted to see him pick up a major trophy as he has done but he will know that David Marshall wants that shirt.
“If we have people like Dom Ball and Andre Dozzell and Ossie (Kakay) and George (Thomas) not in the squad because people have got their shirts out there – it works for every single position.
“David Marshall will do everything right and Seny has got a right battle on his hands. That’s the way it should be.”