Ian Holloway held up his hands on the team selection that led to QPR's 2-1 defeat to Burton - but revealed his anxiety on overworking some of his troops.

It was the reason the boss left out workhorses Jamie Mackie and Ryan Manning - pivotal over the last four games.

To prove his point, another hard-working soldier, Grant Hall, picked up an Achilles injury and is ruled out against Newcastle on Wednesday night.

Hard working: Jamie Mackie (R)

"We could have kept a big gap, but I’m sick of feeling like I do in this (players) tunnel," Ollie said.

"I was very concerned about playing Mackie – there were four games before this, and Ryan hasn’t played four games in six months.

"I made the changes because of the amount of games coming up, but it upset the balance.

"But the amount of work they’ve been doing... and, yes, I was worried about it."

The manager was pretty sure Idrissa Sylla will miss the trip too.

The QPR boss watched his side lose 2-1 to a struggling Burton, and then had the perfect Ollie line to describe a first league defeat in five.

"Do we have the way to steal the crown jewels?" as he compared royal theft to nicking a goal. "I don't think so. Not even if it was a cardboard castle we were trying to break into."

Injured: Grant Hall (L)

Rangers did a lot of huffing and puffing, but had only Conor Washington's late strike as consolation after Burton went 2-0 up.

The manager reckoned the atmosphere in the lowest Saturday league crowd at Loftus Road this season was flat, that as well as his team's performance.

"I hold up my hands for some of the performance, but we need players to show zest and get up and go."

Holloway confirmed injuries to converted midfielder Hall, and striker Sylla.

He added: "Hally's played four games on the trot and he's got an Achilles problem, and Sylla, a hamstring. So I'm not sure who I'm taking to Newcastle, right now."

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