QPR boss Steve McClaren has wasted no time in telling his squad exactly what he expects from them – and Darnell Furlong says the players are enjoying it!
The group flew out to Portugal on Wednesday for a week of training as they get themselves prepared for the 2018/19 Championship campaign.
McClaren has quickly ensured there are no grey areas where his players are concerned.
“He has made clear points to us on how we need to train, how we need to play, the rules on how we need to act, what the badge stands for, he has discussed it all,” Furlong told www.qpr.co.uk at the team’s training camp in Lagos.
Since their return for pre-season on Monday, Furlong says the level of organisation from McClaren and his backroom staff has impressed him and his team-mates.
“When the players know exactly what they are doing that’s when you perform at your best,” he explained. “If you’re caught in limbo you worry about what you are doing rather than focusing on doing it correctly.
“The organisation is key and I think the way they are with it is very important to us and we’re really enjoying it.”
After arriving at the Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort on Wednesday evening, the squad got up to a double-training session on Thursday. While Furlong is relishing it, he admits it’s hard going.
“It’s been really difficult,” said the 22-year-old. “It has been tough but also really good. We feel really organised as a group, we know what we are doing and we are looking forward to cracking on with the week and getting some hard work in.
“The training is really sharp. We are being told we’ve got 30 seconds between drills, and then it’s straight into it. You are always on your toes and ready to work.”
Furlong has been at QPR since the age of 11, but many feel last season represented his breakthrough year.
He made 24 appearances in all competitions, and was a regular feature in the side during the final three months of the campaign.
After loan spells with Northampton, Cambridge and Swindon, Furlong is now looking to cement his place in the QPR first team – something which has remained his goal even when he was plying his trade away from Loftus Road.
“When you are out on loan it’s about learning and taking steps to get towards the Championship,” he explained. “I spent time on loan in League Two, then League One and now I am playing for QPR in the Championship. That has always been my target.
“I would advise the young boys coming through now that if you’re not getting games at this moment in time, then it’s really worth getting out on loan and learning your trade.”
Furlong is one of the more experienced members of the young brigade in Portugal and he says it’s a role he is aware of, and he is doing all he can to help the newer members of the squad to settle as quickly as possible.
“I definitely feel like someone who can perhaps help the youngsters who are coming through now,” he added.
“That’s what I needed when I was in their position because when you go away with the first team for the first time it can be quite daunting, and you can feel tentative to do anything.
“But you’ve just got to be yourself, and I hope that me along with the rest of the group are making them feel like that.”