Duo to stay at QPR next season
QPR will reward striker Heidar Helguson for his improved form with a new contract next season – whether they win promotion or not.
The Icelandic frontman, whose current deal runs out in the summer, will be offered the chance to stay at the club after playing an important role in their charge towards the Premier League.
Helguson, who played in the top flight with Watford, Fulham and Bolton, has netted 12 times this season and Rangers boss Neil Warnock is keen to retain the 33-year-old’s experience.
Warnock has also promised a new contract to veteran goalkeeper Radek Cerny – even though the former Tottenham player has been restricted to the substitutes’ bench all season.
“Heidar’s never surprised me – he’s a great pro and he could be the top goalscorer in the division if we could keep him fit,” Warnock told the Times.
“I’ve a lot of time for him, I always have done and I hope he stays fit because that’d be a major boost for the rest of this season. I’ve already said to him I’ll give him a contract – him and Radek Cerny.
“They know I’ll look after them anyhow, but they’ll both have a part to play next year, whatever division we’re in. If anything happened to Paddy [Kenny] it wouldn’t worry me at all putting Radek in.
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“He’s been outstanding in training and I think he’s been instrumental in how well Paddy’s doing. The competition’s fabulous for the club.”
Cerny, who turned 37 last month, displaced Lee Camp as Rangers’ first choice keeper after joining them in 2008 and has played 79 first-team games, but none since Kenny’s arrival at Loftus Road last summer.
Helguson’s fortunes, on the other hand, have turned around significantly under Warnock’s management after he spent the majority of last season on loan to former club Watford.
Having failed to hold down a regular place at Rangers since his �750,000 switch from Bolton, the striker then scored 11 goals for the Hornets, who attempted to bring him back to Vicarage Road on a permanent basis.
But Warnock opted to give Helguson a second chance and the striker has responded with better displays and an ample tally of goals, earning him a place on the Championship’s Player of the Month shortlist for February.
As well as securing the services of Helguson and Cerny for next season, the QPR manager has also confirmed that he would like to make Wayne Routledge’s return from Newcastle permanent.
The winger, who joined the promotion-bound Magpies in January 2010, has thrived since rejoining his old club on loan until the end of the season to replace the injured Jamie Mackie.
“Sometimes it’s difficult coming back to a club, but I told him it’s very different now,” Warnock added. “I felt the club was geared up to let him play his best and we need players like Wayne to win games.
“I was delighted to get him and we’d like to sign him next season, whatever the situation. I think he’s enjoying it at the moment because of the way he’s playing.
“But I don’t think there’s any rush and I imagine it depends where we end up. Wayne would like to play in the Premier League, so if things went wrong for us he’d probably go back.”