QPR captaincy was Hall a bit of a shock

By Ben Kosky AFTER being shunted off to the other end of the country for four months, any player might be forgiven for expecting the worst. It s certainly fair to say Fitz Hall hadn t anticipated being invited to take the captain s armband when he returne

By Ben Kosky

AFTER being shunted off to the other end of the country for four months, any player might be forgiven for expecting the worst.

It's certainly fair to say Fitz Hall hadn't anticipated being invited to take the captain's armband when he returned to QPR following his loan spell at Newcastle.

In fact, the Rangers centre-back readily admits he was somewhat slow on the uptake when manager Neil Warnock told him to lead the team out for a pre-season friendly.


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"When the manager first told me I was captain, just before we played Plymouth at Loftus Road, I misunderstood - I thought it was just for that one game," Hall told the Times.

"So obviously I was surprised and delighted when I found out the following week I'd been named captain for the season. In fact, to tell you the truth I was shocked.

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"The fact was that I was sent on loan for the second half of last season and, when that happens, you naturally think you're not wanted at the club and you'll be on your way.

"But it wasn't Neil Warnock who sent me on loan and to come back to QPR and be handed the captaincy was a complete turnaround and a proud moment for me."

Signed from Wigan in January 2008, the repeated changes of manager at QPR did little to aid Hall's hopes of holding down a regular place in the team.

He was a key figure in the Rs' rearguard under Iain Dowie, lost his place under Paulo Sousa and regained it when Jim Magilton took charge at the beginning of last season.

Magilton's controversial departure saw the centre-back sidelined again and, with the board desperately attempting to recoup some of the funds that had been frittered away, he was loaned to Newcastle six weeks later.

Injury - and the Magpies' title-winning form - restricted Hall to seven appearances in the black and white, but he found himself back in favour with the new Rangers boss after returning to Loftus Road.

So the hamstring tear the 29-year-old suffered only a week into the new season appeared to be a major setback - but he is now in line to return to the squad for Saturday's clash with

Middlesbrough.

"There was no warning - I'd had a good pre-season, so it was a big blow to be feeling my hamstring in only the second league game," Hall added.

"At first I thought I'd be out for four or five weeks, but I took it one day at a time, did some fitness work and it's healed quite quickly.

"Thankfully, with the international break, it came at a time when I was missing a few less games than might have been the case.

"Now it's time to reassess the situation and it'll be up to the manager what happens next.

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