QPR star: “I thought we were relegated”

Derry admits he feared the worst as Rangers suffered defeat to title-winners Manchester City on Sunday

Shaun Derry admits he feared QPR were relegated when Sergio Aguero grabbed his 95th-minute title-winner for Manchester City yesterday.

Aguero’s last-gasp strike left Rangers desperate for news from Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium, where a win for Bolton Wanderers would have kept them up and sent the Rs down.

But with Wanderers managing only a 2-2 draw, Mark Hughes’s side survived by a single point, and Derry hailed his team-mates’ exertions despite their nail-biting 3-2 defeat at the Etihad.

“It was unbelievable. It was surreal out there in the second half,” said Derry. “To play in it was probably easier than watching it from the sidelines. When that third goal went in I wasn’t sure what was happening at Stoke, I thought we had really messed it up.

“I thought we were down. I was engulfed in the game but I glanced over to our fans. I knew at half-time Bolton were winning and we would’ve been down and out.

“I was devastated but looked up and saw the QPR fans celebrating. I’m so proud of the boys. It was an incredible performance from the boys, especially when you consider what it was all about.

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“This is up there. It’s as important as winning promotion. The celebrations are different because it’s hard to celebrate when you’ve survived by one or two points.

“We never lost heart. I’ve been in the game a long time and I’ve seen ups and downs at different levels. Thankfully we’re all laughing now.

“We had a game plan to sit back and defend and it worked a treat. We conceded just before half-time, which was a bit of a low point. But the longer it went on the more chance we had of getting something from the game.”

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