On the Ball

With Richard Langley IN what looks like a fast approaching anti-climax to the season, the return of Rowan Vine will have fans hoping he might be the one to add spice up front. If QPR are planning a final attack on the top six, this is the man we need to g

With Richard Langley

IN what looks like a fast approaching anti-climax to the season, the return of Rowan Vine will have fans hoping he might be the one to add spice up front. If QPR are planning a final attack on the top six, this is the man we need to get into his stride extremely quickly.

First off I must congratulate Rowan, who is due to make his comeback this week, having been out since last April with a complicated leg break.

Many people say that footballers are all overpaid for what they do and to a certain extent I could agree with their arguments.


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But this great job is accompanied by incredible lows. What is overlooked is how testing times are after sustaining a long-term injury - this is the lowest point in a player's career and I can pay testimony to that first hand.

I have spoken to Rowan throughout his rehab and it has been full of ups and downs. His mental strength, commitment and dedication to recovering is hard to describe accurately enough to give him the praise he deserves. Form might not come instantly but I know from my own experience that QPR fans will be patient.

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Having played with him for a season at Luton, I can say that his infectious 'will to win' attitude will have been sorely missed. It is something that is quite apparent when you watch him play - and traits very similar to those of Martin Rowlands, which I personally feel have been missing at QPR.

I think that the abundance of money is great, but there needs to remain a backbone of players in the team who really have an affiliation with the club, be it inherent in players like Lee Cook or Rowlands, or acquired like Viney. These are the players that wear their heart on their sleeve.

The team needs to be built around players who know what it means to play for the club, following the likes of Chelsea, with Lampard and Terry, and Liverpool, with Carragher and Gerrard.

It might be too soon to be hailing Rowan as the saviour for our promotion push, as I don't think we will really see his best until next season. But we do have a player who will fight for the cause and drive on players alongside him.

It is hard to see much light at the end of the tunnel, with games running out quickly but, with the return of a player like Viney, anything is possible.

IF you have any questions or comments to put to Richard, you can email us at nwl.sport@archant.co.uk

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