Boss Mark Warburton insists his QPR players are raring to return to match action, as they bid to claim back-to-back Championship wins away to Cardiff City on Wednesday night. 

Charlie Austin scored on his first appearance since re-joining the Loftus Road club in a 2-0 victory at Luton on January 12, ending the Hoops’ winless streak that had stretched back to November 24. 

But Warburton’s charges were forced to wait for their chance to add to their winning momentum when a series of positive tests within the Wycombe squad led to the postponement of the teams’ scheduled Saturday meeting. 

Instead, the Rs engaged in an in-house match over the weekend, and Warburton is now looking forward to unleashing his players against a Cardiff side currently five spots and five points above the 20th-placed west Londoners. 

“There’s no doubt that we were ready for Saturday, but postponements are just part of the nature of the current situation,” Warburton said. 

“We found the in-house game very valuable. It gave us a chance to keep some of the guys who perhaps haven’t been starting in recent weeks match fit, while keeping the other lads ticking over as well. 

“That’s really important now as we’ve got a very tough schedule going into the second half of the Championship season. We’re fully focused on Cardiff now, but as soon as the final whistle blows, we’ll turn our attention to Derby on Saturday.”

Cardiff represent intriguing opponents for QPR, with the Bluebirds boasting a record of five wins out of six before their ongoing run of six defeats from their last seven games. 

Despite their tricky spell, Warburton doesn’t expect anything less than a tough contest in the Welsh capital, having succumbed to a 3-0 defeat on their last visit despite dominating the match for large parts. 

“We’re preparing for a well-managed team,” said the 58-year-old. “I’m full of respect for Neil [Harris] and his staff and what they do. 

“They have a talented squad, they’re direct, they maximise every opportunity in terms of set-pieces, and you have to be prepared. We know we face a tough test on a very big pitch. 

“We have to deliver a good performance, impose ourselves on the game, show our quality, and defend our goal with a real ruthlessness and passion.” 

Amidst the preparations for Cardiff, Warburton revealed that he hopes to add to his ranks before the end of the transfer window, with Austin and Hull defender Jordy de Wijs his two temporary arrivals so far. 

He added: “Jordy is close to joining the squad for full training. We’ve got some good time left in the window and we want to add one or two more if we can. We have a very demanding schedule and we have to have that strength in depth. 

“Lee [Wallace] and Osman [Kakay] are getting closer to full fitness, which is also great news because we’ve been desperately light over recent weeks.”