Belfast Telegraph

Austin back for QPR

QPR will welcome top goalscorer Charlie Austin back from suspension for their Barclays Premier League clash against West Brom.

The striker missed the 3-1 defeat at Everton having been sent off against former club Burnley but will be back to spearhead the Hoops' attack on Saturday.

Steven Caulker is also in contention after sitting out the Everton game due to a head injury suffered at the players' Christmas function.

Mauricio Isla will be absent as he has returned home to Chile for the birth of his child and long-term injury casualties Sandro and Alejandro Faurlin (both knee) are not close to a return.

Harry Redknapp will have to deal in the loan market in January as he looks to bring in reinforcements at Loftus Road.

The QPR manager travelled to Malaysia during the week for a meeting with owner Tony Fernandes, flying out on Wednesday evening and returning early on Friday.

Head of football operations Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey from the club's academy also joined the group to discuss all things related to the club - but, if Redknapp was hoping to come back with news of a transfer window kitty, he would have been sorely disappointed.

Having overseen the signings of 10 players ahead of the closure of the summer window, Redknapp has been unable to keep the newly-promoted R's out of the relegation zone and they currently reside in 18th place in the Barclays Premier League.

Many teams are expected to be shopping around to bolster their squads in the new year but the 67-year-old admits he will only be looking for temporary moves.

"It was good," he said of his Far-East chat with Fernandes.

"I went over to see Tony and Ruben (Emir Gnanalingam) - two of the owners. We had a good, positive meeting talking about players, new stadium, training ground. It was well worth going.

"He's busy so I went over...we just discussed lots of different aspects of the club. We had a good day. It was interesting.

"We're not looking to spend. If there's a loan or two out there we would be interested, that's where we are at. We spent some money in the summer, so we're not that far short.

"Hopefully we can find another striker to add to the ones we've got already, so that's an area we are looking at.

"In January it's always difficult to find players. We will see. There will be someone out there that can come and help us."

Ben Foster insists West Brom are desperate for stability and vowed the Baggies will endure their dark times.

The England keeper knows Albion need balance at The Hawthorns after a difficult 12 months.

They go to QPR following a vital 1-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.

Ex-boss Steve Clarke was sacked a year last Sunday and Alan Irvine is the second head coach since his exit, after replacing Pepe Mel in the summer.

Albion have won just twice in their last 11 games in all competitions to increase the heat on Irvine and Foster insisted there has been enough upheaval.

"The stability hasn't been there. We just need to bear with it and hopefully we can start picking up points and crack on again," he said, with the Baggies 14th in the Barclays Premier League.

"The gaffer would have been quite needlessly under pressure after the Villa game if we had lost.

"Everyone was out there giving it their everything, we are really happy for the fans as well because it is a good few years since we last had a win against Villa.

"We all know what we are doing, we've all got game plans, there is a lot more structure to it now than what there has been."

Irvine has been under fire from fans during their run where they have picked up just nine points from a possible 30 but Foster urged the Baggies supporters to back the boss.

"I can understand their frustration because they want to see their team winning," said the 31-year-old.

"The gaffer has got his plans and he knows what to do. You've just got to stick with it. We are all fighting 110 per cent for the gaffer.

"I don't think you would find anyone in the team who has a bad word to say about him. He's a great guy, great coach and we can start fresh from now."

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