QPR Under-21 boss likens Irish youth star to Spurs winger Aaron Lennon
PUBLISHED: 18:30 17 December 2014 | UPDATED: 07:19 18 December 2014
Steve Gallen says he stuck his neck on the line to make sure QPR snapped up winger Jake Mulraney after he was released by Nottingham Forest.
The Irish Under-19 international signed for Forest from Dublin side Crumlin United as a schoolboy –the same team where Irish legend Robbie Keane started his footballing education.
The youngster has agreed a deal until the end of the season and will need to impress in order to gain an extenstion to his contract.
Gallen said: “He has got a lot of ability and when I heard Forest were letting him go I was very keen to bring him to QPR. I stuck my neck out on this one.
“He is a left-footed winger who plays on the right. He has a bit of Aaron Lennon about him in his style of play. He is small with explosive pace, great speed – real acceleration. He is a typical winger who likes to get behind the full-back and get crosses in.
“He played for Forest last season against us, it was the first game we lost and it was because of him. He scored the winning goal and was the best player on the pitch.
“I made it my business to have a chat with him after the game.”
Gallen, a former Irish Under-21 international, says he has no worries about Mulraney adapting to life in London.
“We have put him in digs and like a lot of Irish people, he has some family over here. I think he has some cousins in London.
“He is a nice lad, humble. He isn’t walking around at 18 like he has made it.”
Gallen’s Under-21 team were beaten 2-0 at Charlton Athletic on Monday, but he says the result is no longer the key.
“Les Ferdinand brought in Chris Ramsey to oversee the academy and he is my boss,” added Gallen.
“I’ve worked for a number of people in my 17 years at the club and I like Chris – I rate him.
“He wants us to attack. He isn’t concerned about the league table. He wants us to play a pure type of football, very attack-minded where players throughout the academy have to play in all the positions on the pitch. He wants to see fluency.
“You can expect to see more defeats, but some of the football against Charlton was brilliant.
“Jake was outstanding for the first 30 minutes. Now my job is to try and help him produce that same quality for a longer period.”
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