“Critical that everybody is ready to contribute” – Marti Cifuentes vows to stand by QPR rotation policy amid busy Championship schedule.
QPR head coach Marti Cifuentes has emphasized his commitment to rotating the team as part of his strategy to lift the club out of relegation concerns. Cifuentes, who surprised many by benching key players Steve Cook and Ilias Chair in the recent match against Preston, justified the decision, and the subsequent 2-0 victory brought QPR within four points of Championship safety.
With a challenging schedule ahead, featuring three games within a week, starting with Hull City on Saturday, Cifuentes expressed his intention to continue making changes to effectively manage the squad. He stressed the importance of involving the entire squad, acknowledging that with the Championship’s demanding fixture list, it is critical for every player to be ready to contribute to the team’s performance.
Cifuentes explained the decision to rest Ilias Chair at Preston, aiming to ensure his freshness for the second half, a move that proved successful with Chair providing two crucial assists after coming on as a substitute. Despite recognizing Steve Cook’s outstanding performances in previous games, Cifuentes highlighted the need to foster a team mentality where every player feels capable of making a positive impact.
The coach’s ability to influence games through strategic substitutions has garnered attention in his initial weeks in England. While downplaying the impact of his decision-making, Cifuentes credited the players for executing the plans effectively. Notably, substitutes played a pivotal role in turning around a game against Stoke City, leading to QPR’s first home victory since March.
Cifuentes discussed the dynamic nature of planning substitutions, emphasizing the need for adaptability as opponents may alter their tactics. He acknowledged the unpredictable nature of football decisions, acknowledging that success or failure depends on various factors. The key, according to Cifuentes, lies in instilling belief within the players that there is a plan in place, and options are available to change the course of the game when necessary.
Looking ahead, Cifuentes confirmed the availability of Sinclair Armstrong for selection against Hull, having missed the last two games due to injury. However, Jack Colback’s status remains uncertain, with an assessment pending after he was forced off at halftime in the match against Preston. As QPR faces a crucial period in their quest for Championship safety, Cifuentes remains committed to utilizing his entire squad and adapting strategies to maximize the team’s performance.