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Furlong: Pulling on the QPR shirt is so special

DARNELL Furlong admitted pulling on the blue and white hoops of QPR is “so special” after he played his part in our goalless draw at Leeds United on Saturday.

The R’s defender, who has been with the club since he was 10, was part of the back-five unit which kept a clean sheet at Elland Road, and he told www.qpr.co.uk: “I really enjoyed it, and thought we could have nicked all three points which would have been even better, but we were happy with the point.

“It’s a tough place to go and when you look at where they are in the league, and what they are trying to do, it’s a good result for us.”

With Garry Monk’s side comfortably in the play-off places, few outside QPR expected anything other than a home win for the Yorkshire side, but the R’s more than matched their high-flying opposition, with Alex Smithies largely untested in the visiting goal.

“They didn’t have a shot on target, we’ve caused them problems in their box and proved a threat against one of the top teams in the league,” Furlong added, after the R’s kept only their second clean sheet in five months.

“If we’re keeping clean sheets we are giving ourselves a much better chance of winning the games,” Furlong added.

“We know we can conceded and still win, but keeping those clean sheets is always a target for us.”

Ian Holloway recalled Furlong from his loan at Swindon Town in January, and the 21 year-old has gone from strength to strength since, featuring in ten games so far.

Furlong is delighted to be back in west London, but believes his experiences while out on loan have been vital to his development.

Spells with Northampton Town, Cambridge and the Robins enabled Furlong to rack up almost 60 professional appearances away from QPR, and he explained: “I don’t think you can prepare for league football any other way.

“When you’re 18, your next progression is to play in the 23s, but once you are doing that regularly, you need to get out and play men’s football.

“My loan spells benefitted me massively, like they will benefit the players who are on loan at the moment.

“They’ve just got to get out and play at any opportunity they get, but always remember their end goal is to come back here and play for the QPR first team.

“When I have been out on loan I’ve been completely committed to the clubs I have been on loan at, but the end goal was always to come back and play for QPR.

“To be doing that now is my dream. It’s exactly what I want.

“I remember the first time I ever pulled the shirt on with my young team-mates in the academy, it was amazing. So to be pulling it on in the Championship and fighting for real points is so special for me.”

I remember the first time I ever pulled the shirt on with my young team-mates in the academy, it was amazing.

Darnell Furlong