QPR boss hails ‘granite’ defender ahead of Everton clash

QPR manager Mark Hughes is astounded at how Ryan Nelsen can come back from international duty with New Zealand in such great shape.

The 34-year-old was involved in the All Whites’ 3-0 win over Tahiti in Christchurch on October 16.

And Hughes was delighted to see the defender return in one piece and doubted whether he could do the same.

“He’s come back fine,” Hughes told London24. “I don’t know how he does it to be perfectly honest.

“He has done it for so many years, he has got it to a fine art.

“He looks like a brand new player when he comes back. I really don’t know how he does it.

“I’m not sure I would be in the same state as him but he gets his times right.

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“When he comes back he does have an impact.”

Even when Nelsen returns from international duty with a fitness issue, he has still been able to put in strong performances.

In September, after internationals against New Caledonia and the Soloman Islands, the All Whites captain returned to the R’s with an ear complaint but still performed well in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.

“Last time, he came back with an ear infection, labrynthitis, that affected his balance,” Hughes added.

“Even so, he played against Tottenham and was outstanding. He is made of granite basically.”