Gallen: underdog tag suits us
By Ben Kosky YOUTH team boss Steve Gallen insists QPR will not be overawed when they travel to West Ham in the FA Youth Cup next week. The Hammers have won the competition three times and, under long-serving Academy director Tony Carr, have become renowne
By Ben Kosky
YOUTH team boss Steve Gallen insists QPR will not be overawed when they travel to West Ham in the FA Youth Cup next week.
The Hammers have won the competition three times and, under long-serving Academy director Tony Carr, have become renowned for their conveyor belt of young talent.
Rangers, meanwhile, have not progressed beyond the fourth round in recent years, but did knock out another Academy side, Southampton, to set up Tuesday's trip to Upton Park (kick-off 7pm).
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"Let's not forget that, in Southampton's eyes, they lost to a Centre of Excellence and that's very disappointing for a club that's invested a massive amount of money in their youth department," said Gallen.
"We'll be the underdogs again and that's the way I like it. When you look at West Ham, their record for youth development is incredible - in the last 10 years they've produced six of England's likely World Cup squad.
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"Tony Carr is a bit of a legend in youth football and in some ways I'm very proud to be taking a team over there.
"But we're not going there just to marvel at West Ham - there's no point in going there if we don't aim to win and I honestly think we will. That's the only way to approach the game."
A combination of the Christmas break and freezing weather has meant Rangers' under-18s have not played a competitive game since they beat Southampton 3-1 on December 8.
But they are due to return to action at Harlington on Saturday, when they face Brighton in the League Cup fourth round, and Gallen added: "We will get a game of some kind - I'll arrange a friendly if necessary.
"If the League Cup tie goes ahead, we'll be playing our strongest team. - and again on Tuesday. We got to the final last season, so we'd like to get there again and go one better if possible."
Antonio German and Josh Parker, who have both been on the fringes of the first team, are available for the tie, but goalkeeper Niki-Lee Bulmer is a doubt with an ankle injury.