IT'S hard to believe that it’s been less than two months since Luke Freeman signed for QPR. In the eight games in which he’s donned the blue and white hoops the midfielder has scored two goals but his all-round general play has seen him become a firm favourite amongst the R’s faithful.
Freeman has undoubtedly settled in well in W12 and believes his current form justifies why he was so keen to join the club and he’s enjoying his football again after what he describes as a ‘frustrating’ period at Bristol City in January.
Talking on The Loftcast Luke said: “I’m chuffed to have settled in pretty quickly, I’ve been very lucky because the staff and the boys have been very welcoming. They’ve made it easy for all the newbies to come in and settle. I had a difficult month in January where I didn’t play at all and came here without any fitness so I was surprised with how quickly it has come into place but again that is down to the players and staff who have been so welcoming.”
When Freeman joined QPR the R’s had just been beaten by Burton Albion and were 17th - following a poor run of form in November and December that saw Rangers lose six on the bounce - but the playmaker was never in doubt that results would pick up.
“I think just before I came there was a bit of a sticky period here but I think it was never in doubt the club would get out of it," he continued. "It’s just how football goes sometimes when you least expect it things start to fall in place and it was something that was always going to happen with the quality we have.”
Freeman spent two-and-a-half years at Ashton Gate but felt it was the right time to move on in January. Despite drawing interest from other clubs it was QPR who the former Arsenal man had his eye on and he has highlighted Loftus Road as something that has previously attracted him to the club.
“I’ve been playing at these fields (Harlington) since under-14 so I’ve got fond memories here and I’ve always had a little thing with QPR whenever I’ve played at Loftus Road. I’ve always had a little attraction to it so when the club came calling I was very eager to make it happen. I think the way the fans are so close to the pitch it brings a close environment and when I’ve played here before it has felt like their twelfth man so it’s something I had a soft spot for.”
Despite featuring as a number ten or on the wing for most of his career, Freeman has played in a midfield three at QPR with Ian Holloway mostly opting to play a 5-3-2 formation. It’s a position that he’s excelling in and one the manager always felt could allow him to play his best football.
“I had the conversation with the gaffer before I came (about playing in a midfield three). When we won the double at Bristol City I played as a number 10 but I have never played in like a flat three before but it’s where the gaffer thinks I play best and to be fair I’ve really enjoyed it.
“You want to be involved all the time whether things come off or they don’t. I’m really enjoying playing there, sometimes when you are on the wing you can have games where you get the ball all the times or others where you hardly touch it so I’m enjoying being in the thick of the action.”
Looking at things from a realistic point of view, Freeman believes that Rangers excellent form has come a bit too late in the season and that instead of looking at the play-offs the team are hoping to end in the top half. If he could have his way then this particular campaign would not finish at the start of May which is a testament to how much he’s enjoying his football.
He said: “This run of form unfortunately has come just slightly too late for us to push for the play-offs so now we’ve got to aim for the top half of the table. It feels like the season is coming to an end too early but we’ve got to just finish as well as possible.”
When asked about what next season could bring Freeman wanted to stress that everyone is focussing on ending this one on a high but believes the squad is in a great place.
“I really think next season with the squad we have we should be aiming for the play-offs at least," the 25-year-old added. "I want to play in the Premier League and I want to do it for QPR. The togetherness is there, it’s the same sort of feeling I had at Bristol City when we did the double but I’m only concentrating on ending this season on a high.”
It feels like the season is coming to an end too early but we’ve got to just finish as well as possible.