Step on the Gaz
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 24 August 2010
IT wasn t all that long ago that everyone at QPR used to dread the prospect of playing in front of the TV cameras. We seemed to be jinxed by live TV games, but that s all gone out of the window now - we beat Stoke comfortably in a Sky game at the end of l
IT wasn't all that long ago that everyone at QPR used to dread the prospect of playing in front of the TV cameras.
We seemed to be jinxed by live TV games, but that's all gone out of the window now - we beat Stoke comfortably in a Sky game at the end of last season and, apart from that, I think QPR is a club we want to showcase as much as possible.
Sunday will be the first time the new QPR brand has been live on TV. The club's creating a lot of interest and it'll be nice for viewers to see the kind of football we've been playing.
Unfortunately, they won't be able to put a face to the name of Emmanuel Ledesma as he's serving a suspension, but we've got plenty of other players who can give a good account of themselves.
Southampton have revamped themselves too in that they've made it clear they're focusing on youth, which has always been one of their main strengths.
We've got some great young players of our own - even if we might have fished out most of them from abroad - and, with the quality we possess, we should win the game.
The big question is whether we get the international lads back and well rested and, from that point of view, the fact we aren't playing until Sunday is a real bonus.
After that it all concertinas into seven games in 20 days, with Wednesday's trip up to Norwich next on the agenda.
Without tempting fate, you wouldn't think things could go as badly as they did last time we played at Carrow Road, when we were down to 10 men and a goal behind almost as soon as we'd kicked off.
It'll be a difficult place to go again, but I'm confident that both games are very winnable and hopefully our defence can keep things tight again, as they have done recently.
That wasn't the case in our reserve game this week, when we beat Millwall 4-3 - but I was well pleased with the reaction the lads showed after going 2-0 down.
I'd like to give a mention to two young lads, Ed Harris and Femi Ilesanmi, who have come in and done well alongside some of the senior players like myself, Adam Bolder, Akos Buzsaky and Lee Camp.
Playing in the reserves isn't a negative thing as it may have been in the past - it's vital for everyone to get match fitness in whatever way they can, whether they're coming back from injury or not getting a game in the first team.
And I think the youngsters will improve even more from playing with bigger name players than they would have done last season.
They can learn a lot more in one of these games than they would from three games in the youth team and I'm sure QPR will reap the benefits of that in years to come.