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Blackstock braced for a battle

PUBLISHED: 12:51 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010

COKE-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP 2007/2008
QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CARDIFF 
PHOTO'S BY GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS
DATE: 18/08/2007.
TEL: 07831-396-923

QPR'S DEXTER BLACKSTOCK SHOOTS.

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COKE-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP 2007/2008 QUEENS PARK RANGERS V CARDIFF PHOTO'S BY GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS DATE: 18/08/2007. TEL: 07831-396-923 QPR'S DEXTER BLACKSTOCK SHOOTS. .

GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS

By Ben Kosky QPR matchwinner Dexter Blackstock accepts he faces a fight to stay in the team next season despite his current rich vein of form. Blackstock s goal against Charlton was the fourth time he has found the net in five games – his best scoring seq

By Ben Kosky

QPR matchwinner Dexter Blackstock accepts he faces a fight to stay in the team next season despite his current rich vein of form.

Blackstock's goal against Charlton was the fourth time he has found the net in five games - his best scoring sequence since last season, when he headed Rangers' goal charts with 14.

With Rowan Vine and Patrick Agyemang out injured, Blackstock - still only 21 - is the only senior striker available for now, but knows that situation is almost certain to change during the close season.

He said: "Everyone wants to play for QPR at the moment and there's a lot of talk about money and the club going places with Flavio [Briatore] and Bernie [Ecclestone] behind us.

"The fans are seeing that. You can tell by the attendance against Charlton - over 17,000 - that the fans are coming back and getting excited about the future.

"That carries a lot more expectation, therefore better players have got to be brought into the club to take it forward.

"As a professional footballer, you have to accept players are going to come in and fight for your shirt.

"Everyone in our changing room wants to stay here and be part of what's ahead. We all want to achieve promotion in the long term and we'll need a big squad of players to do that.

"If I can get goals, then it's great to be helping the team perform and win games, that's the main thing."

The former Southampton forward was paired with 17-year-old Angelo Balanta, a product of Rangers' Centre of Excellence, on Saturday.

Balanta impressed in only his fourth start for the first team and Rs boss Luigi de Canio stressed afterwards that he plans to promote more players from the youth system long-term.

"Angelo's an excellent player," said De Canio. "He does want to learn and puts in a lot of effort. This has to go to the credit of the youth coaches who have worked with him.

"My dream is to have a QPR side in the Premier League with six or seven players in the squad who have come up through the youth set-up.

"We have just started on the project and the important thing is that we try and build gradually."

SATURDAY'S crowd of 17,035 was the biggest for a league game at Loftus Road in nearly three years.

Almost 18,000 watched Rangers beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 at the end of the 2004-05 season, but a hefty increase in ticket prices that summer led to a severe fall in attendances.

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