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Stefan Johansen named QPR captain

STEFAN Johansen has been named as QPR’s new club captain ahead of the start of the 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season.

The 30-year-old former Norway skipper takes on the mantle after recently completing a permanent return to W12.

Lee Wallace – who signed a new one-year deal this summer following an impressive campaign with us last term – will be vice-captain.

R’s boss Mark Warburton told us: “We are very fortunate to have four senior pros in the squad in Stefan Johansen, Lee Wallace, Charlie Austin and Albert Adomah – and in Stefan and Lee we have two players who have captained their clubs and their countries before.

“I am delighted to have Stef as my captain and he will be ably-assisted by Lee as vice-captain, while Charlie and Albert have an important role.

“It is crucial to have leadership in a dressing room, and even though we have a young squad we have a group that contains real leaders.

“The impact they will have on the younger boys from a mentoring perspective is really significant.

“We all know what Stef and Lee give us on the pitch, but how they act off the pitch is just as important. In terms of how you play, how you train, how you deal with adversity – they know what it takes.”

Midfielder Johansen is already hugely popular among R’s fans and spoke of his pride at being named captain, adding: “This is a special honour for me and it comes with a responsibility.

"It is not going to change who I am or what I do – I am going to keep doing the same things.”

Johansen believes culture and confidence are vital for a team to be successful, but says humbleness is also key.

“The culture you have is the key to any success,” he explained. 

“We need to believe we are good enough to win games. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. We must be confident but humble.

“When we win games, remember what we did to win those games. When we lose, be honest with yourselves and your team-mates. Why did we lose?”

Johansen is a vocal member of the team on matchdays and is happy to let players know if their standards have dropped.

Equally, he has no issues being on the receiving end of such comments from team-mates.

“This group is brilliant and has a special togetherness,” he said. 

“Everyone here understands how important it is to take criticism from your team-mates when it comes. 

“Of course it is nice to get compliments because it gives players confidence and that is why criticism needs to come in the right way.

“It is never personal, it is always for the sake of the team. 

“People can shout at me and I know it is never personal. We just all want to win so badly and if things aren’t right, then people need to know. 

“So people like myself, Charlie Austin, Lee Wallace, Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet, Albert Adomah, we have to say these things when we see them.”

As Rangers ready themselves for the season opener against Millwall on Saturday, Johansen says their mindset must be right from the off.

“You can get carried away if you win a few games, and you can be down and moody if you lose a few - that shouldn’t be the case,” he added.

“The ability we have in this squad is very good and we know on our day we can go toe-to-toe with everyone. 

“Mindset is what brings consistency – and to be successful, consistency is the most important thing.”

This is a special honour for me and it comes with a responsibility.

Stefan Johansen