Colback absence brings ‘opportunity’, says QPR boss

Gareth Ainsworth says Jack Colback’s absence will give other QPR players a chance to impress.

Midfielder Colback will be suspended for the next three matches after being sent off against his former club Sunderland.

The likes of Stephen Duke-McKenna are hoping to start in his place, while Andre Dozzell, who has recently been deployed in a more advanced position, could revert back to a deeper role.

Kenneth Paal can also play in midfield – and boss Ainsworth has been keen to give Ziyad Larkeche opportunities on the left.

Colback will be unavailable against Swansea, Birmingham and Coventry,

Ainsworth said: “He’s one of my best players and is going to miss three games now, which is a big blow for us.

“But we’ve got the likes of Andre Dozzell, Stephen Duke-McKenna and even Kenneth Paal who can all fill in to that role.

“We’ve got opportunities now for people to come in and say ‘Right, I’ll take this.” There’s always a window. When a door closes there’s always something for somebody.

“I’m looking forward now to seeing who can take this opportunity.”

Meanwhile. QPR defender Jimmy Dunne has effectively been given the green light to return to action.

Dunne has been out since suffering a dislocated shoulder during a pre-season friendly against Oxford United.

Ainsworth says Dunne currently looks likely to re-join the squad for the visit of Coventry on 30 September, but would probably have been fit enough to be involved now had Rangers needed him to be.

Rangers have options at centre-back, with Morgan Fox and Steve Cook having been signed since Dunne suffered his injury, while Jake Clarke-Salter has featured in the past two matches as a substitute.

Ainsworth explained: “Jimmy could well feature in the next couple of games (after Swansea on Tuesday).

“Tomorrow night’s probably just too soon for Jimmy. If needed I think we could chuck him on, but I think he’s looking more at the Coventry game.”

Dunne’s recovery has been quicker than initially expected – at one stage it was feared he could be sidelined for three months.

Ainsworth said: “I have to say the medical staff have been unbelievable with him.

“They’ve accelerated his programme – not risking it, but managing to get so much in there.

“It’s been great what they’ve done with Jimmy and I’m really looking forward to getting him back.”