QPR star ‘nervous’ before Ipswich clash
DAN Shittu has admitted he felt nervous about making his first appearance since returning to QPR.
The defender, a fans’ favourite during his first spell at Loftus Road, was given a starting place for the vital home win against Ipswich on Tuesday and produced a barnstorming, adrenaline-filled performance.
Shittu said: “I knew it was an important game for me, playing at home in front of those fans who have supported me all these years.
“I was a bit nervous before the game because I knew those fans were expecting me to do what I usually do. I didn’t want to let them down.
“I knew I had to go out there and not overdo it – I didn’t want to do anything silly – and just do what I do, which is defend.
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“I’m just glad it turned out the way it did. It couldn’t have gone any better. I feel so at home and am so glad I’ve come back to try and help this club get promoted.
“Everybody knows QPR is my home. I’ve always said that and have never tried to hide it. This is where I feel comfortable.”
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Shittu, 30, made 182 appearances for QPR before being sold to Watford for �1.6m in 2006.
Following spells at Bolton and Millwall, he rejoined the Rs in January on a six-month contract.
His displays alongside Fitz Hall in three reserve matches helped persuade boss Neil Warnock to put both players into the team in the wake of Saturday’s disappointing draw at bottom side Preston.
Warnock left out centre-backs Matt Connolly and Kaspars Gorkss despite Rangers boasting the Championship’s best defensive record.
Rangers had conceded only 20 league goals this season, and had kept an unrivalled 18 clean sheets prior to Tuesday’s 2-0 victory.
But the manager has been unhappy with some of their defending in recent weeks, and had seriously considered making at least one change for the Preston game.
“The team have been playing well and the thought crossed my mind that I might have come back here, but not play,” Shittu revealed.
“I didn’t expect the manager to make changes, because I wouldn’t like that to happen to me – to be in a team that’s doing well and be left out. You tend to think that you shouldn’t change a winning team.
“Connolly and Gorkss are great players and have done so much for this team already. But you’ve got to believe in yourself, and I believe I’m good enough to play.
“The manager put a lot of trust in me. It was a big game for us and I’m happy I was able to repay him.”