Jake Bidwell's return could hardly be better timed with the festive period lying in wait.
The former Everton academy graduate suffered a dislocated shoulder against Burton Albion in September, meaning he was restricted to a watching brief for over eight weeks and eventually returned with Ian Holloway at the helm after the dismissal of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Bidwell returned to play the full 90 minutes at Portman Road as QPR failed to build on their impressive win against Norwich City the weekend prior to maintain their position in mid-table.
And the 23-year-old hopes he can earn a run in the team as the capital club face up to the daunting prospect of the hectic festive fixture schedule, but insists that his side must do better to avoid a repeat performance in the coming weeks.
“Up to the goals there wasn’t much in it but goals change games and they got the goals at important times,” Bidwell told the club’s official website.
“They were scrappy goals – it wasn’t like we’d been opened up, which was disappointing. They sat in and we couldn’t really break them down. It was a disappointing day.
“Result aside, it was nice to be back. Hopefully I can get a run in the team and hopefully we’ll have better days than today.”
The result may have dampened some of the initial enthusiasm that followed the return of Holloway over 10 years since he was sacked by the club during his first spell at Loftus Road, but a relentless conveyor belt of fixtures in the next couple of months will give the likeable Bristolian the opportunity to build some overdue momentum.
And the return of attacking left-back Bidwell provides him with some much needed depth with the squad likely to be stretched to its limits.