TOM Hitchcock has set his sights firmly on breaking through to the first team next season after impressing on loan at Bristol Rovers recently.
The youngster moved to the Memorial Ground in late December in order to gain invaluable league experience and he did just that, making 17 appearances in total.
More impressively, Hitchcock scored three times – his first-ever league goals – in just seven starts for The Gas.
“The loan was all about experience and it definitely served its purpose,” he said.
“I went there to play games and score goals and did both.
“The gaffer there (John Ward) was excellent with me, as was Marcus Stewart (development coach).
“He’s scored goals in the Premier League for Ipswich and Sunderland. I did lots of shooting practice with him every day and he helped me a lot.
“Luck wasn’t with me at the start. I hit the post three or four times. It was all about getting that first goal under my belt. I knew that once I got that first goal, I could get more.”
Hitchcock finished his loan spell at Rovers with a flourish, scoring all three of his goals in the final four matches of the League Two campaign.
The aim now for the 20-year-old striker is to carry that momentum forward into pre-season with QPR.
“I finished the season by starting the last three out of four games and that was because I was scoring goals and playing well,” Hitchcock continued.
“The aim now is to get in the first team – that’s the main target for me come pre-season.
“I’ve just got to keep training well, keep my head down and keep scoring goals.”
Rangers’ relegation to the Championship could also pave the way for a number of youngsters to make a quicker-than-planned breakthrough to the first team and Hitchcock acknowledged that point, adding: “Relegation is disappointing for everyone connected with the club, but hopefully I can make a few appearances now next season.”