EXCLUSIVE: Campbell confident he and Bothroyd will fire QPR to safety
New Rangers signing believes Hoops will survive the drop this season
DJ Campbell wants to strike up a lethal partnership with Jay Bothroyd to fire QPR to Premier League safety this season.
Campbell took just 28 seconds to score his first Rangers goal against Luton Town on Friday night, putting in a lively display barely 24 hours after the diminutive forward sealed his �1.25million move from Blackpool.
The Hammersmith-born hit-man played on the right of a new-look attacking trio for the Rs, with 6ft 3in Bothroyd playing through the centre supported by Campbell on the right wing and Tommy Smith on the left.
Campbell and Bothroyd were both given the opening 45 minutes to impress Neil Warnock, and produced glimpses of a blossoming understanding.
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“Hopefully me and Jay can play well off each other,” Campbell told London24. “That’s certainly what the gaffer had in mind: the big guy-small guy thing.
“I’m quite quick and he’s got a good touch, we bring different things to the side and I think we can complement each other.
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“He’s more of a centre-forward, whereas I can play as a wide man or through the middle. I think we’ll all switch around a bit so I don’t mind playing on the wing, although eventually I see myself playing through the middle.”
Despite Rangers heading into their first game of the season against Bolton Wanderers as many people’s favourites to go straight back down, Campbell insists they can prove the doubters wrong.
“We can definitely stay up, there’s no point being in this league unless you believe that,” he added.
Rangers’ attack was supported by Adel Taarabt, who will start the season a QPR player after his move to PSG fell through, and it was the Moroccan who set up Campbell for his early tap-in.
Between them, Campbell, Bothroyd and Taarabt netted 50 goals last season, and Campbell believes that the Rs’ enigmatic midfielder will be a crucial presence again this campaign.
“I think me and Jay, along with Adel Taarabt, will be the main goal threat, and Tommy Smith has got goals in him as well, so hopefully we can all gel together,” added Campbell.
“Adel is what you would call a luxury player. He’s a bit unorthodox, but from what I saw last season QPR were built around him. It might not be the same this season but he’s still a great player for us.”
Campbell heads into Rangers’ opening game against Bolton on Saturday with two goals in mind for the season: to keep Rangers in the Premier League and to earn his first England cap – and he is confident of achieving both.
“Last year I got quite close to an England cap but it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe it is overdue, you look at the stats last season and see that I was one of the highest scorers in the Premier League. I’d like to do that this year, so hopefully I can do well, score goals, and get picked.”
Follow Ian Cooper on Twitter @QPRTimes.