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Nasser El Khayati expects tough tour

ONE man in the QPR squad who is more aware than most of the demands boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink puts on his players at this time of year is Nasser El Khayati.

The attacker, who arrived at Rangers in January when Hasselbaink raided his former club Burton Albion for the 27 year-old’s services, spoke to at the end of the R’s first day on tour in Holland and his message was clear: ‘It’s going to be a tough nine days.’

Speaking after the R’s first session in Mill, El Khayati said: “Of course we know this is going to be a really demanding period for us.

“It was a light session tonight, but I’m expecting the two sessions tomorrow to be a lot harder.”

He added: “The session was good.

“The pitches were good and the wet surface from the rain earlier in the day helped us play at a fast-tempo.

“I prefer it like that, when there is a bit of pace on the pitch, so it was nice to get out there and get to work.”

El Khayati and fellow Dutchman Tjaronn Chery were greeted at the airport by members of the Dutch Super Hoops official fan club and the former Burton man was pleased with the welcome.

“It’s always nice to be in your home country,” he said.

“The welcome we have had from the people here, at the airport with the fans, and the hotel, was really nice.

“This is an important tour for us and I think it’s going to be a really nice time for everyone as we look ahead to the new season.”

El Khayati believes the tour not only presents Rangers players with a chance to improve their fitness levels over the next nine days, but also to build on team-spirit, with new signings Ariel Borysiuk, Joel Lynch and Jake Bidwell all in the travelling tour party.

“Of course this tour is about fitness and playing games, but I think it’s a very important for us to help the new players settle in,” he said.

“I think it’s great that the club has got three news players in already, because the pre-season is still in its early days and this will allow them to come in and get to know us all.

“Everything is about the team and building as a squad of players, and this tour will allow us to work on that.”

It’s always nice to be in your home country.

Nasser El Khayati