Wright-Phillips ends hurt with new lease of life at Loftus Road

 

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The Independent Online

Shaun Wright-Phillips admits he is thoroughly enjoying life since his recent arrival at Queen's Park Rangers. The 29-year-old has been in superb form since his deadline day move from Manchester City to west London.

Wright-Phillips' performances for Rangers have already seen him linked with an England recall, although the winger is just happy to be playing regular first-team football again.

"I am loving it to be honest," he said. "I go home happy and I look forward to training now on Tuesday and the game again. You just know how to prepare yourself. It's not so much frustrating, it's just that if you don't know when you are going to play, how do you focus on a game?

"That's part of football, though, and if you are going to be at a big club you have to deal with it. I had it at Chelsea and Man City and you know it's not about yourself, it's a team game.

"If you are hurting inside, you can't really show it because you want the team to do well because that's part of football. I was hurting inside because I am a footballer and I want to play but that's just the way it goes sometimes."

Wright-Phillips was one of a number of summer signings made by Rangers manager Neil Warnock, whose side are unbeaten since the close of the transfer window.

"We have played three games and I thought we gelled quite well for a team that has just come together," added Wright-Phillips."But obviously there is still a lot to be done and stuff we are going to work on at the training ground."

On Sunday Wright-Phillips played in QPR's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Loftus Road which had plenty of controversial incidents.

Richard Dunne's last-minute own-goal helped 10-man Rangers grab a deserved point, having fallen behind to a Barry Bannan penalty, a decision which was not shared by Warnock.

The Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton then twice appeared to handle the ball in the box at the other end without being penalised, leaving the referee Michael Oliver to attract most of the post-match attention.

"I wouldn't say I was frustrated by the referee's performance," Wright-Phillips said. "When I was speaking to him, I just said to him 'people normally get second yellow cards for consistent fouling'.

"In this case, they have done five fouls outside the box within 10 minutes and there was not another card shown. Then Armand [Traoré] does one, OK, it's a yellow card and a red for him but he gets booked straight away. If he doesn't get booked for a penalty that I don't think anybody saw, he stays on the pitch."

Bannan stepped up and tucked away the resulting penalty and impressed throughout. While Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish was quick to praise the midfielder, he admitted he was upset with his side's first-half display.

"Bannan took about 40 minutes to get into the game, like everybody else," McLeish said. "Our touch and passing was very poor up until half-time and thankfully we got a grip in the second half.

"I've seen some players who excelled on the training ground doing the real thing, instead of leaving it all behind in the first half. Bannan claimed the penalty. I never pre-ordained who would take a penalty if we got one, but Barry was confident. You can see in the way he grabbed the ball that he was very confident he'd dispatch it."

Asked about Bannan's performance in particular, he added: "I don't want to put too much pressure on the young players. The expectations are a club like Villa is that we should be higher up the table, winning games.

"I will take the pressure off the young players. We have to try and make progress along the way, as steadily as possible. Barry has shown some bright moments in different positions."

Meanwhile, the Football Association yesterday wrote to QPR for their observations about a tweet from their new owner Tony Fernandes following the match in which he branded Oliver "blind".

However, it is understood no further action will be taken against the club.

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