QPR boss Mark Warburton has told fans that the likes of Ilias Chair will need to be rested at times.
Chair was left out for Saturday’s game at St Andrews, where Rangers’ unbeaten run was ended by Birmingham.
The midfielder was not brought on, while Charlie Austin was again substituted.
Some fans were annoyed by that and have been frustrated at how frequently Chair has been taken off during matches this season.
But Warburton says such measures are needed in order to prevent injuries.
He told West London Sport: “It’s important to get the message across because supporters will naturally say ‘Keep him on. Why aren’t you playing him? Why isn’t he on for 90 minutes’? It’s because he can’t. We’ll lose them (to injury).
“I was delighted to get even a half out of Charlie on Saturday. It was touch-and-go whether he could even play. Likewise Stefan Johansen. Likewise Geoff Cameron.
“I looked after Lee Wallace because of the amount of miles he’d done and I wanted to make sure he was available for us.
“We really have to look after the players. We’re privy to information the supporters are not.
“Ilias Chair for example; his high-speed runs were down significantly in the previous game.
“Here’s a young guy who loves his football and wants to be on the pitch every minute.
“But when the data’s telling you that the legs are heavy and the tank’s empty, you’ve got to look after them.
“If you don’t then you lose them to injury. And if you get a two-week injury now, you’re missing five games because of the schedule. So we have to take care.”
Rangers face Barnsley at Loftus Road on Wednesday in what will be their third fixture in the space of a week. It follows away trips to Birmingham and Preston.
“We’ve got to get it across (to the fans) that these players are being challenged in a way never seen before,” Warburton said.
“You get some very bizarre comments (from fans) but we have to look after the players. There’s a reason for it.”