Richard Dunne looking forward to Everton return with QPR
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Richard Dunne produced another man of the match performance against Burnley to lift QPR out of the bottom three last week –
results over the weekend saw the Rs drop back into the relegation zone, and Dunne is now setting his sights on winning at Everton’s Goodison Park tonight.
The Irish defender started his career with the Toffees, joining the Merseysiders from Dublin junior side Home Farm as a fresh-faced 16-year-old and going on to make 60 appearances for the club before joining Manchester City in 2000.
Dunne expects to receive a decent reception from the fans of his old club and is looking forward to playing against a few former team-mates.
The 35-year-old said: “There’s a couple of the staff still there and even players-wise, Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert were in the
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same youth team as me coming through.
“It is always nice to go back, I’ve some fond memories of being there. They gave me the break and I’ve got great thanks to them for
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doing that for me.
“I had a great time living there, I enjoyed the club. I did all the old sort of YTS [youth team] stuff. Lads don’t do it now really – all the old stuff like cleaning the boots, the toilets and pumping the balls up. It was all part of our learning at the time.”
Rangers are still looking to pick up their first point away from home this season and Dunne believes scoring the first goal is the key to doing so.
He said: “It is about time we started picking things up on the road. Every time we go away we’ve got that opportunity.
“We’ve not managed to get that first goal when we’ve been on the road, to give ourselves something to hold on to.
“I think if we could get the first goal it would just raise the belief in the squad. Obviously then you know that you’ve got something to hang on to. Maybe the other teams would open up a little bit.
“We are a good side at home and most of the teams in the league are the same. Once we go behind and try to go at them we leave ourselves open on the counter.
“It’s on the TV as well so we know it is a big game and we want to make sure that people are not doubting us as a team when we go away.”
The Rs will be without top scorer Charlie Austin for the trip to Goodison Park following his red card against Burnley, and Dunne is expecting another difficult challenge on the road.
“We are going to miss Charlie on Monday night but it is just one of those things – it happens,” he said.
“Everton have done great in Europe and are probably wishing they were higher in the league. Come the end of the season I think they will be challenging for that top six.
“They are always a dangerous side and they’ve got some great players.”