QPR probably won't be able to call upon injured forward Rowan Vine until the new year.
Vine has suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken leg - a further blow for Iain Dowie, who was barracked by fans during Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool. Supporters chanted for Dowie to change his favoured 4-2-3-1 system in favour of a 4-4-2 formation.
With his team trailing 1-0 at half-time, the boss obliged and Dexter Blackstock's 78th-minute equaliser - his sixth goal of the season - rescued a point. But Dowie said: "There's an obsession in this country with systems, but it's about the players out there.
"We just didn't get going enough. We could have been 2-0 up at half-time and then there would have been no talk about systems.
"We've scored four at home twice this season using the system we started with tonight, and Emmanuel Ledesma got a hattrick playing in it a couple of weeks ago.
"We've made a decent start to the season with that formation, reached the last 16 of the Carling Cup and are eighth in the table - one win away from fourth place.
"It's a system Spain used in Euro 2008.
"There's an obsession in this country with 4-4-2, which has hardly brought England great success down the years.
"I changed it at half-time because Blackpool had scored and were able to sit back and mark man-for-man, so I wanted to give them another problem up front."
The system QPR have used this season is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
It is seen as a nightmare to defend against, with attacking midfield players being much harder to mark than two strikers pushed up against centrebacks.
Runners from deep worry defenders and Rangers are well stocked with that type of player, with the likes of Akos Buzsaky, Ledesma and Lee Cook.
Vine's return would be a major boost for Dowie because the former Birmingham man can operate in any of the system's four attacking positions and would also make Rangers more of a threat should they switch to 4-4-2.
But, having been pencilled in for a possible October return, Vine was this week told his broken bone needs more time to re-set. He will see a specialist next month for an update on his progress.
In the meantime, Dowie has no plans to revert to 4-4-2.
His current choice is a very expansive, attacking formation but try telling that to the Rangers fans who saw Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Derby followed by a nervy first half against Blackpool and were baying for the return of their beloved formation.
Blackpool went ahead after 17 minutes, when Gary Taylor-Fletcher collected Damion Stewart's weak clearing header and fired into the top corner of the net from 25 yards.
Dowie made a double substitution at the interval, sending on Mikele Leigertwood and striker Patrick Agyemang.
But it was Dowie's third substitute, Buzsaky, who helped to haul Rangers level.
The fit-again Hungarian, brought on with 18 minutes to go, curled a 30-yard free-kick against the bar and Blackstock was able to head home the rebound.
"I thought it was a very good display," Dowie added.
"We caused them a massive amount of problems from setpieces, especially in the second half. It was an unsatisfactory result but I can't be unhappy with the way we played.
"Should we have gone on and scored a winner? Probably. But I can't fault the desire."
Buzsaky's impact following his return from an ankle injury was a major plus.
"He'll be fully fit after the international break," Dowie predicted.
"I gave him a game at Villa and maybe let my heart rule my head by starting with him against Derby, and he was a bit below par. I know he's a quality player." Match Summary QPR (0) 1 BLACKPOOL (1) 1 Line-up: Cerny; Ramage, Hall, Stewart, Delaney; Mahon (Buzsaky 73), Parejo (Leigertwood h/t); Ledesma, Agyemang h/t), Rowlands, Cook; Blackstock. Subs not used: Camp, Gorkss. Attendance: 12,500 GOALS: Taylor-Fletcher (18), Blackstock (81).
MoM: Dexter Blackstock
Saturday details QPR (0) 0 DERBY COUNTY (0) 2 Line-up: Cerny; Connolly, Hall, Stewart, Delaney; Mahon (Leigertwood 70), Parejo, Rowlands, Ledesma Agyemang 77), Buzsaky, (Cook 56); Blackstock. Subs not used: Camp, Ramage. Attendance: 14,311 GOALS: Albrechtsen (80), Villa (89).
MoM: Paul Green
St Andrews Saturday 12.45pm Championship
Manager: Alex McLeish Position last season: 19th Premier League Form Guide: Birmingham have started impressively in their bid to go straight back up to the Premier League after last season's demotion. They are second in the table and unbeaten away with three wins and two draws - including a 2-1 win at Cardiff last weekend and a 1-1 draw at Derby in midweek. The other wins have come at Southampton and Bristol City (both 2-1). The Blues have won three of four home games. A shock 1-0 defeat at home to Blackpool a fortnight ago was preceded by wins against Sheffield United (1-0),Barnsley (2-0) and Doncaster (1-0). Players to look out for: Birmingham have several danger men. Cameron Jerome and James McFadden will need to be watched closely and City also have Ghanaian striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on the books - a former Arsenal player who is on loan from Spartak Moscow.
Most recent meetings: Birmingham C 2-1 QPR (13 Mar 2007); QPR 0-2 Birmingham C (17 Oct 2007); - Championship. Head-to-head record: BC Wins: 20 QPR Wins: 14 Draws: 13
Match Facts: Rangers have had no joy in their past seven visits to St Andrews. A couple of 0-0 draws are the best they have managed - the last coming in August 2000. The last away win came 24 years ago when the Rs won 2-0 - the only league victory they have ever achieved at Birmingham in 21 postwar visits. [
Forecast: Rangers have it in them to claim at least a point, but Birmingham's fine home record and extra Premier League experience could just give them the edge this time.
Gazetteforecast success rate: 6 correct out of 12 (50%)