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16:09 25th March 2013

Junior insists team morale has not been damaged by Villa defeat

IT'S BEEN nine days since QPR lost 3-2 at Aston Villa, and the R’s still have another week to wait before they can attempt to put that right at Fulham next Monday.

But midfielder Junior Hoilett says while the squad were desperately disappointed to lose at Villa Park, their confidence has not been damaged.

Prior to the trip to the midlands, Rangers secured back-to-back wins with victories over Southampton and Sunderland, and Hoilett told  this afternoon: “It was definitely a disappointing result against Aston Villa but the team is so together as a group.

“And you can see in training today how together we are. We’re all training hard, working hard and encouraging each other. 

“We are desperate to get the wins we need to pull this off.”

R’s fans everywhere are busy studying the league table, the current form, who has to play who… and the players are no different! 

“Fans talk about what’s needed, and we’re the same,” admitted the 22-year-old. “Even in the hotels before we leave for games, we talk about what we’ve got to do. We’ve all got a big part to play in this fight for survival.

“And the fans have a big part to play in it as well. They are key. If they can keep roaring us on and cheering us on, they can give us the extra bit of confidence we might need.”

It’s been a topsy-turvy first season for Hoilett at Loftus Road. Hamstring trouble and a spell out of the squad saw him face an unfamiliar challenge as he had to work his way back into the manager’s plans. And Hoilett admits it has been a learning curve for him.

“It’s been new for me,” he said. “When you are injured, you want to be able to help the team and fight for the points.”

Hoilett played a crucial role in Rangers’ recent wins against the Saints and Black Cats, and now the former Blackburn man is once again brimming with self-belief.

“As a young player coming back from injury, and being left out of the squad a couple of times, it has been hard,” he said. “It’s good to bounce back with good performances because it gives you the confidence you need for the next game.”

Such has been his recent form, that an air of expectancy hits the R’s fans when Hoilett gets away down the left flank.

Hoilett says that’s a side of his game he enjoys.

“It’s good when you’re one on one against a defender, that’s a big part of my game to take on players and create chances. I love doing it, and I feel even better when I’m going into games with confidence.”

Having gone close in recent weeks, Hoilett is desperate to add to the two goals he has scored since joining QPR in the summer.

“Hopefully I can do that next week against Fulham!” he said.

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