Bobby Zamora thanked Steve Gallen for his part in Wembley heroics

QPR's youth development manager Steve Gallen

QPR's youth development manager Steve Gallen - Credit: EMPICS Sport

After 17 years on the coaching staff at QPR there isn’t much Steve Gallen hasn’t experienced.

QPR's Bobby Zamora celebrates after scoring the late winning goal in the Championship Play-off final

QPR's Bobby Zamora celebrates after scoring the late winning goal in the Championship Play-off final at Wembley - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

But even he was surprised at the reaction he got from play-off final hero Bobby Zamora when he managed to get onto the Wembley pitch.

The Under-21 manger said: “I got on the pitch at the end, which was really nice.

“It was great to be able to celebrate with everyone because a lot of those lads I’ve got to know – Clint Hill and Joey Barton in particular and people like Bobby Zamora.

“Bobby said something to me. He was right out of the picture in February – finished. He trained with my team for about 10 days and was really disappointed with that I think – having to train with these 19 and 20-year-olds.

“But guess what he did. He rolled his sleeves up and got right into it. I was really impressed with him and he played for us against Charlton away, where he did really well.

“After the game everyone was asking me about the Brazilian striker [Guilherme] Dellatorre. The chairman and the manager were ringing me asking if he was any good because we needed a forward.

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“I said he was poor – but Bobby Zamora was the best player on the pitch. I knew saying it that I was sticking my neck right out. It would have been much safer for me to say that Bobby was alright.

“In the office the next day I was telling the lads that Bobby Zamora was excellent and they were thinking ‘who is this idiot?’ But I thought ‘I have to say what I believe’.

“That was midweek and then on the Saturday Bobby came on and there was some ironic cheering from the fans – and then he scored.

“On a personal level I felt quite proud. So I walked on the Wembley pitch and I was shouting ‘Bobby!’ He turned to me and said ‘Steve, thank you. Thank you so much for your shooting drills and the training’, and then he gave me a big cuddle.

“I was like, ‘just have a look at that crowd – you’re thanking me! You’re a legend now’. He was buzzing and so was I. It showed me the humility of him to say to me ‘thanks’.”

While he is a committed member of staff, Gallen remains a fan – despite being offered seats in an executive box, he watched the Derby match alongside his brothers Kevin and Joe plus his wife, children, parents and relatives. The Gallen clan took up a full two rows at Wembley.

He believes the club are in with a far greater chance of staying in the Premier League this season than they were two seasons ago, when the Rs were relegated, now that the mentality has changed.

He said: “I didn’t enjoy how the club became. In that second season after going up we became stuff that I don’t like.

“We became arrogant – I don’t like that. Here at the training ground as well there was a lot of arrogance. We portrayed on the outside a lot of arrogance – ‘we’re this and we’re going to do that’ – I don’t like that.

“I believe you have to earn your stripes. You can talk about it but it comes down to performances.

“Then we played the first game of the season and lost 5-0 against Swansea. So for all that arrogance that was the end product.

“I didn’t enjoy how our club became – I didn’t enjoy it as a fan and I certainly didn’t enjoy it as a coach. It was a tough time.

“Now saying that, with the group of players here now, the team might not end up being as good on paper as that team was but they are not going to get done.

“The manager will make sure they are very, very competitive.”

Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82

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