HOGAN Ephraim is determined to force his way into Mark Hughes’s 25-man Premier League squad, although admits he never believed he a few months ago that he’d be in such a position to stake a claim.
Ephraim - a regular starter in the R’s promotion-winning season of 2010/11 - was a frustrated spectator for much of last term, spending time on loan at Charlton Athletic and Bristol City as the R’s went on to clinch their Premier League status on the final day of the campaign at the Etihad Stadium.
Now, a few months on, and Ephraim has been a regular throughout pre-season and is determined to continue his resurgence at Loftus Road.
“I just want to try and get myself in and around the team,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
“Pre-season has gone well for me and the manager has said some very good things.
“A few months ago I never thought I’d be in this position, but if I keep working hard and impressing him, hopefully I’ll be in his thoughts at the start of the season.”
He added: “I feel fresh and ready for the season.
“I had a good summer and rested up well, but you miss playing so I am always fully-focused when I return.
“The last couple of pre-season's have gone well for me and I feel like I’ve done well again so far this term.”
Along with Adel Taarabt and Matthew Connolly, Ephraim is now one of the longest-serving members of the R’s First Team squad.
However, he believes the days of wholesale changes in the squad and management team are a thing of the past in W12 now.
“A lot of players and managers have come and gone in my time here, but there’s a real sense of stability here now.
“The club is going from strength to strength now – it’s really going places.
“It’s a very different pre-season to the last few I’ve had here but for all the right reasons.
“Two tours in the space of a few weeks shows how far the club has come. It’s great from a brand perspective and show how much the club is expanding.
“From a footballing point of view it’s been great as well, coming up against different styles of play in different stadiums in front of different crowds.”