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ADEL Taarabt has thanked the QPR fans who gave him such a good reception on Saturday when he featured against Southampton.

In what was only the Moroccan’s second league start this season, Rangers were denied a point in cruel fashion when Sadio Mane netted an injury-time winner to send the Saints third in the table.

The result means QPR remain in the bottom three ahead of key away games against Sunderland and Hull City. 

“It was a disappointing result for us, but great to start,” Taarabt told www.qpr.co.uk

“It has been a long time since I started a game at Loftus Road – almost two years. I was happy to be back out there and for the supporters to welcome me like they did was special, I really appreciate this from them.”

Having been on loan at Fulham and AC Milan last season, Taarabt’s last start in W12 was back in April 2013 against Stoke City.

On Saturday, his name was met by cheers from the R’s fans ahead of kick off, while he was warmly applauded off the pitch for his efforts when he was substituted just after the hour mark.

“It meant a lot to me, a lot,” he added. “Obviously it has been a difficult four months and some fans may have thought I do not love this club, but this is not true. 

“I know what this club has given to me. I have been here for a long time and it was QPR who gave me the chance to show myself, and what I can do. I cannot forget this.”

While the 25 year-old was happy with his performance against the Saints, he is keen to point out that there is more to come from him in the coming weeks as his fitness improves.

“I was quite pleased with how I did, with my football,” he said. “Obviously I need to be sharper and match fit, and you can only get this match fitness from playing games – this is even more important when you are playing in the Premier League.

“I was happy with my touches, and with more match fitness I will be able to do more for the team – more runs, more shots.

“Hopefully I will get back to my best soon.”

Chris Ramsey has taken caretaker charge of the first team following Harry Redknapp’s recent resignation, while Director of Football Les Ferdinand has been assisting on the training pitch.

And Taarabt, who joined QPR permanently from Tottenham in August 2010, has enjoyed their sessions.

“I knew them from when they worked with the academy at Tottenham,” said Taarabt. “Training has been very good – a lot of it is about passing and moving. 

“I hope very soon we will be able to get to where they want us to be.”