JEFF Hendrick has joined QPR on loan for the remainder of the season from Newcastle United.
Hendrick, who celebrated his 30th birthday by making the move, says he can’t wait to get started after putting pen to paper on a deal which will keep him in W12 until the end of the campaign.
The midfielder joined Derby’s academy setup when he was 16 and became an established member of their first team before enjoying spells in the Premier League with Burnley and the Magpies over the past six years.
“It’s been a bit of a crazy birthday, just waiting for this to happen, but I am really excited,” he said after completing the loan move.
“I have been following the team throughout this season and you are in a good position in the league. Hopefully, I can come in and help give that last push to get promoted.”
Hendrick, who has made 68 appearances for the Republic of Ireland, explained why he was keen to become Mark Warburton’s third signing of the January transfer window after David Marshall and Dion Sanderson, saying: “I have played against the manager’s teams throughout the league and they always play good football, John Eustace is there who I played with, and I know certain players like Jimmy Dunne and Andre Gray.
“I just thought this would be the right fit for me."
Speaking from Newcastle before heading to London on Tuesday, Hendrick added: “Anyone who knows me will know I will be disappointed with the game time I have got this season so I wanted to get out, get games and enjoy my football.
“I wasn’t just going to sit around. A big thing for me is to push myself and enjoy my football.”
Hendrick has made 200 appearances in the Championship and knows what it takes to be challenging at the top end of the table after two play-off finishes with Derby. He says togetherness within the squad is crucial.
“A good team spirit is important and I have heard it is very good at QPR, so I am excited to see that,” he said.
“You need a group that is fighting for the same cause and you need to be able to play good football, and to be one of the best teams in the league you have to be able to win ugly as well.
“Now I just want to hit the ground running.”
R’s boss Mark Warburton said: “I am delighted to bring Jeff in.
“We are always looking to add experience and quality to our ranks, especially ahead of such an important stage of the season.
“Jeff has shown his quality at the highest level on the international stage and in the Premier League.
“He also possesses that Championship experience, too, which can be so important.
“Everyone you speak to speaks so highly of Jeff, of his character and his work ethic and there is no doubt he will add another layer of quality to the squad.”
Warburton said the character of Hendrick was key, explaining: “The players have worked so hard to build a brilliant dressing room culture, one that has such togetherness and harmony, so anyone we add must be the right character – and Jeff certainly fits the bill in that respect.
“I am very much looking forward to working with him over the coming weeks and months.”