PAUL Smyth admits next season is “massive” for him as he bids to make himself a regular in Mark Warburton’s new-look QPR team.
Smyth spent the second half of the 2018/19 campaign on loan at League One Accrington Stanley. After successfully helping them avoid the drop, the 21-year-old is now focused on kick-starting his Rangers career.
The Northern Ireland international was at Harlington this week to keep himself in shape ahead of next week’s training camp with his country in Manchester.
Speaking with www.qpr.co.uk, Smyth said he is looking forward to life under Warburton
“This is a new start for me with a new person to impress,” he said.
“Fingers crossed I can do that and hopefully get a place in his team. If I can’t do that then I will work hard to get that spot.
“I spoke to Jake Bidwell who said he is a very good coach and a very good manager so I am really looking forward to getting started under him.”
Warburton is known for playing attacking, exciting football and that is music to the ears of Smyth, who joined the R’s from Linfield two years ago.
“That’s how I like to play as well so hopefully that will benefit me and the whole team,” he said.
“Next season is massive for me. I haven’t really had the game time here so I’ve had to go elsewhere for that but hopefully with the new manager and new staff we can push on and it will be a good season for the club.”
Smyth scored three goals during his time at Wham Stadium as Stanley finished the campaign five points above the relegation zone, and he admitted: “It was really enjoyable.
“I got games which I needed and I feel it benefitted me a lot.
“I was pleased with the impact I had. We were fighting relegation and the goals I scored helped us get important points so it was a good loan move.”
While his QPR team-mates are enjoying a break, Smyth is busy preparing for next week’s training camp with Northern Ireland ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers with Estonia and Belarus in June.
“I haven’t had a rest for the last three years!” Smyth said. “I am always on international duty but I am used to it.
“After the games next month there will be a couple of weeks’ break before we return for pre-season so I will use that time to relax and then make sure I am ready for when everyone comes back.”
While being away from Loftus Road, Smyth has continued to receive support from the R’s fans on social media and he has been hugely grateful for their encouragement, admitting: “Their support has been massive, absolutely massive.
“It keeps me going and makes me want to work even harder to get into the team to show the fans what I can do.
“Hopefully I can impress the manager here and get in the side so I can get the fans on the edge of their seats!”