ON SATURDAY QPR play host to Chelsea in another eagerly-anticipated derby game between the two sides.
It’s a fixture which means a lot to both sets of supporters. But with the recent influx of new players at Loftus Road, is there a chance the recent acquisitions don’t understand the magnitude of the match?
Don’t bet on it.
“I know all about the rivalry between QPR and Chelsea,” Fabio Da Silva told www.qpr.co.uk at the training ground today. “All the players know about this. It is a big derby game and I am ready for it.”
Having featured in a Manchester derby previously, the 22 year-old admits these matches are not ‘just another game’.
“These ones are more special to be play in, definitely,” said a smiling Fabio. “We really want to win this game because we know what it means to our supporters to win this match. It is very exciting.
“Matches like this have an extra edge. I have played at Loftus Road two times and I am really looking forward to this weekend because the atmosphere is going to be incredible.”
Fabio was one of 12 players to join the R’s this summer, signing a one-year loan deal from Manchester United.
He has played every minute of QPR’s opening four fixtures and is enjoying life as an ‘R’.
“I have settled very well,” he said. “It is very nice here and things are getting better and better.”
While the campaign got off to a disappointing start with a 5-0 home loss to Swansea, QPR have shown encouraging signs since. A battling point earned at Norwich City was followed by a comfortable 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over Walsall.
The last outing saw Rangers lose 3-1 at Manchester City, but Mark Hughes’s men produced an excellent second-half display at the home of the champions.
“We showed there that we are starting to get to know each other,” Fabio added. “We played some good football against them and I think if we can play against Chelsea like we did in the second half at Manchester City, we can get a positive result.”
Rangers beat the Blues 1-0 at Loftus Road last season and will be looking to repeat that feat this weekend. Fabio knows such an achievement will be far from easy, however, against a team who have picked up nine points from their opening three Premier League fixtures.
“This will be difficult for us, I know this,” he said. “But we are going to work very, very hard in this game.”
And asked why he smiled from ear to ear throughout this interview, Fabio laughed: “Because these are the games I love!"