Hill backs Taarabt to help QPR climb up the Premier League table

Adel Taarabt goes down under a challenge from Southampton's Victor Wanyama

Adel Taarabt goes down under a challenge from Southampton's Victor Wanyama - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Following Saturday’s late 1-0 defeat against Southampton, Clint Hill was keen to pick out some positives from the performance – and he highlighted the return of Adel Taarabt as a major plus.

QPR defender Clint Hill

QPR defender Clint Hill - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Taarabt, 25, was linked with a move to Italy throughout January but, with no-one agreeing to meet Rangers’ asking price and the club unwilling to let him leave on loan, he returned to the starting line-up for the visit of the Saints.

Taarabt’s frosty relationship with Harry Redknapp created headlines last year when Redknapp accused the Moroccan of being unprofessional and overweight.

But with Redknapp departing the club due to his ‘bad knees’, Taarabt is now back in favour – and Hill is pleased to see him involved.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s game at Sunderland, Hill said: “Adel showed glimpses of what he can do from previous years.

“I’ve said it for many years – he could be whatever he wants to be. He can go wherever he wants to be, it’s up to him.

“Obviously people have mentioned attitude and all this kind of stuff, but since he has come in this year, he has done well.

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“He has showed up for training whenever he has been wanted. If he has got to work, he has got to work.”

Hill added: “He comes in, he works hard when he needs to. He doesn’t miss training when he needs to be in. He has done well considering the game time he has had.

“The thing with Adel is, to get the most fitness out of him he needs to play games. It’s as simple as that. The more he plays, the better he will become for us.”

Hill, 36, is one of the longest-serving players at the club, having joined the Rs from Crystal Palace in 2010 – and the veteran defender is still hopeful of avoiding relegation despite Redknapp’s departure.

He said: “Obviously Harry has decided to go and we wish him all the best. He cited that his knees were obviously very, very sore and if he needs to do it then he needs to do it.

“He got up here to the Premier League and unfortunately he didn’t feel like he could take us on, so he stepped aside, which takes a bit of guts as well.

“Now we’ve got to move on quickly. Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond have come in and done as much as they can do in such a short space of time and they’ve just tried to give us a basic platform to work off at the moment.”

Regardless of who gets the job as first-team manager, Hill is glad to see Les Ferdinand involved as director of football.

“I think it’s important that we get a structure in place – have football people in charge and someone who knows the club and is respected in the club,” he said. “He is a legend from his playing days. I think he has the club’s interests at heart.”

Follow me @RobBrennan82

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