Neil Warnock says he won’t be rushing any of his injured players back into the fray with a long season ahead.

Boro face QPR at the Riverside on Wednesday (7.45pm) and go into the game on the back of a first home win of the season, against Bristol City at the weekend.

Marcus Tavernier and Duncan Watmore were two absentees from the Riverside success after feeling injuries during the build-up, Chuba Akpom also missed out after illness, and the Boro manager says he won’t be pushing them into a return unless fully fit.

“I won’t play any of them unless they’re absolutely right,” said the boss.

“At Fulham we felt Tav was alright, but it was the following week when he felt his hamstring. As a winger you do pick strains up.

“I thought Duncan was just tired at first so we’ve got to be careful with the lads who explode and make sure we don’t put them in, get a game out of them, then lose them for four or five.

“We’re looking after Isaiah as well because he did so well on Saturday but obviously he was very tired afterwards so we’re keeping him in cotton wool.

“We’ve got Derby on Saturday and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves having a few out. It’s a week we’ve got to get through and hope we’re ok with what we’ve got.

“Chuba will train this morning and if he’s available he’ll be on the bench.”

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