QPR keeper targets England recall

Rob Green

Rob Green - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Exclusive: Rob Green says he has put the trauma of last season behind him as he looks to rebuild his career at Loftus Road and break back into the national side

Rob Green is confident he can rebuild his England career ahead of next summer’s World Cup despite being faced with the prospect of Championship football with QPR next season.

The 33-year-old goalkeeper admits he is ‘back at the drawing board’ after spending much of the last campaign on the bench.

Green joined Rangers on July 1 last year, but played only three matches before manager Mark Hughes signed Brazil international Julio Cesar.

However, Harry Redknapp, who replaced the sacked Hughes in November, is expected to offload the high-earning Cesar in the coming weeks, and install Green as first-choice keeper.

And ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Green is determined first to hold down the QPR number one spot, and then to work his way back into England boss Roy Hodgson’s plans.

“It’s going to be difficult with England. It’s back to the drawing board really, a bit like being back at Norwich earlier in my career,” said Green, who, along with his team-mates, returned to pre-season training at Harlington on Monday.

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“As a professional you always set yourself goals and playing for England is still one of my long-term goals. I’ve played for them before so I know that I’m good enough, but obviously my first priority is to get back into the QPR team.

“I know that playing in the Championship it will be difficult to get back into the England side, but I can only do the best I can. Step one is to have a good pre-season, and I’ll take it from there.”

Green admits he found life at Loftus Road last season frustrating, with QPR’s signing of Cesar days after his own arrival killing his season almost before it began.

But after his longest summer break in a decade, he insists he has put that nightmare behind him.

“There was a bit of damage done last season,” he added. “It was difficult to get my head around. I can understand the top sides saying they need two top-quality keepers – the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona – but for a club like QPR to spend the vast amount of money they did on two goalkeepers was a little perplexing.

“But I feel good. I’ve just come back from the longest break I’ve had in 10 years. This summer I had five or six weeks, compared to the 10 days I had last year. Normally you don’t get that long, barely time to sit down, but this time I had the chance to spend time with my family.

“I want to play a bigger part than I did last season, now that I’ve found my feet. It’s not nice when you’re sitting watching games. Last season made me realise how much I want to play.”