Relieved to be a Ranger at last
PUBLISHED: 12:44 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 24 August 2010
GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICS
By Ben Kosky JUST happy to be playing is a common cliché in football, but Kaspars Gorkss is voicing a heartfelt sentiment after his summer in limbo. The Latvian defender spent most of the close season as the subject of a transfer tug-o -war between Blac
By Ben Kosky
'JUST happy to be playing' is a common cliché in football, but Kaspars Gorkss is voicing a heartfelt sentiment after his summer in limbo.
The Latvian defender spent most of the close season as the subject of a transfer tug-o'-war between Blackpool and QPR - and feared he might miss the start of the new campaign.
Rangers were reported to the Football League after Blackpool accused them of an illegal approach for Gorkss and, although they accepted that the centre-back would be leaving, refused to let his move to Loftus Road go through.
The player joined Rangers for pre-season training, but was unable to feature in their friendlies and it was only a week before the season began that the messy saga was finally resolved with a £250,000 deal.
"I was confident that I was going to end up at QPR," Gorkss assured the Times. "But I just got nervous about how long it was going to take.
"At first I thought it shouldn't be a problem, but it took longer and longer and longer and somebody even told me I might miss the whole of August. That wasn't a pleasant time for me.
"Obviously I was very frustrated and I was particularly disappointed with the way they [Blackpool] acted in this case.
"I don't know what it was, but now I'm looking forward. I'm just happy it's over now and I can play for QPR."
Gorkss, who forged his reputation as a commanding centre-back in one and a half seasons with the Seasiders, finally made his competitive QPR debut in Saturday's 2-1 win over Barnsley.
And, while Rangers' performance was far from impressive, the 26-year-old defender has seen enough to convince him of their promotion credentials - even though he rates this year's Championship as tougher than last season.
"I think it should be harder this season when you look at the teams who have come up with big ambitions - Swansea and Doncaster - and also the teams who went down from the Premier League," said Gorkss.
"When you look at the quality of players we have, we should be up there but as we've seen before, it isn't always the team with better players who win the Championship.
"We have a lot of things to work on, we need to keep improving and at the end of the season see where we're at. I think we're capable of not only the top six, but winning the league.
"I think we started really nervous against Barnsley - all of us, including me - and we didn't play the best football we can play, but as the game went on longer we performed better and better."
As well as helping to keep the goals out, Rangers will also be hoping their new defender can chip in at the other end of the pitch - he netted eight times for Blackpool last season.
"Fitz [Hall] scored two goals on Saturday - maybe next time I can do something similar," Gorkss suggested.
"I didn't really go up for corners because they had three men up front all the time, but I hope I can improve that in the next few games."
If he forms a tight defensive partnership with Hall and gets his name on the scoresheet now and then, Rangers fans will surely feel Gorkss was worth waiting for.
GORKSS will be in international action next Wednesday when Latvia travel to Romania for a friendly.
QPR team-mate Damien Delaney has also been called up by his country - he is in the Republic of Ireland squad for their game in Norway the same evening.