RYAN NELSEN admits he can’t wait for tomorrow’s London derby against Arsenal, describing the Emirates Stadium as ‘one of the best to play at’ in the Premier League.
Nelsen - who has impressed since joining Rangers on a free transfer this summer - is relishing locking horns with Arsene Wenger’s side, but readily acknowledges the R’s will have to be at their best to get a positive result, despite the Gunners’ recent slump.
"I love going to the Emirates. It's one of the best stadiums in England,” Nelsen told www.qpr.co.uk.
"The Arsenal fans support their team unbelievably well when things are going their way, but if they're not getting their money’s worth they'll let them know as well!”
Following their Barclays Premier League loss to Norwich City last weekend, Wenger’s men succumbed to another defeat on Wednesday night, going down to a 2-0 home defeat to Schalke.
That Champions League defeat was met with a chorus of boos at the full-time whistle, but Nelsen is aware of the wounded animal, adding: "They're a fantastic team. Arsene Wenger is Arsenal through and through. Their DNA is all about their passing style.
“Whatever Arsenal side you come up against, what you know about them is that they'll look to play in a certain way.
"We'll need to be at our best and that's what we plan to be.”
However, despite airing on the side of caution, Nelsen is confident the R’s can spring a surprise at the Emirates this weekend.
“When you play the bigger teams and they get it right you can be in a whole lot of hurt if eight or nine of them play to their full potential,” he said, “but on the flip side, that can be reversed as well. If they're off their game, we can cause them problems.
"Chelsea are a fine example. They have only dropped points so far this season against us, and we're unfortunately bottom of the league at the moment.
"That's the kind of league this is. It's a very fine line.”
Nelsen added: "Arsenal have lost a couple of major influences in Song and van Persie.
"If you take away 30 goals from a side, like Arsenal have with Robin, it's always difficult to replace them. You will always suffer.
“Song was a seven out of ten player at least every week as well, so they’re two very difficult guys to replace.
"They added some very good exciting players to their squad over the summer, but they're still relatively unknown in terms of adapting to the Premier League, especially now the games come so quickly and the cold season is beginning to hit.”
A positive result at the Emirates could lift Rangers off the foot of the table and Nelsen believes it is only a matter of time before improved performances yield results.
"We don't want to be where we are in the league,” he said.
"With an ounce of luck we'd probably be five or six points better off and maybe in four weeks’ time our luck will have turned and someone else will be coming under the spotlight.
"But there's one thing you know about Mark Hughes and that's that his attention and detail to the job in hand is first class.
"He's the first in and the last out every day and as players we need to start using the tools he's giving us to start delivering the goods.
"The league table doesn't lie, but most neutrals will understand the quality that is here and I’d hope that over the course of a 38 game season our league position will replicate the ability we have in the squad.”