Sturrock uses QPR blueprint

Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock hopes his side can follow the Queens Park Rangers formula as they target a first Coca-Cola Championship win tomorrow.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock hopes his side can follow the Queens Park Rangers formula as they target a first Coca-Cola Championship win tomorrow.

The Owls, promoted last season, have collected just two points from their opening four league matches but are in better heart after overcoming Stockport in the Carling Cup in midweek.

Sturrock points out that next opponents QPR started badly after moving up to the division last year but improved and spent most of the season competing for a play-off place.

Sturrock, whose side travel to Loftus Road tonight, told the club’s official website, www.swfc.co.uk: “We would hope to mirror that form, but we must get a win on the board first.

“We need a league win to set us up for the two weeks that follow. We don’t want a gap to open up on the rest of the table – it’s a huge game.”

QPR have lost back-to-back matches – to Coventry and Northampton both 3-0 - but Sturrock expects them to produce a strong performance.

The Scot added: “I don’t read much into those losses. They had 10 men for both those games and I am expecting a backlash.

“They are a very good home team but I’ve been content with the opportunities we’ve created away from home – just frustrated we haven’t taken them.”

Sturrock hopes to have defender Graham Coughlan available after the ankle injury he suffered at Stockport proved less serious than feared.

There were initially worries the 31-year-old may have broken his ankle and suffered ligament damage but they were allayed and he will undergo a late fitness test.

Sturrock has no new injury worries but Lee Bullen (Achilles), Steve MacLean (broken leg), Drew Talbot (back), Steve Adams (calf) and Jon-Paul McGovern (back) remain on the sidelines.

Rangers will hope the return of Tommy Doherty will help get them back on track.

The 26-year-old was a key figure as Ian Holloway’s side took seven points from their opening three matches.

Dan Shittu also returns after completing a one-match ban, while his central defensive partner Georges Santos faces a late fitness test on a calf injury.

Defender Ian Evatt misses out through suspension, while Lee Cook, Martin Rowlands, Dean Sturridge and Marc Nygaard are all still injured.

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