Faurlin: They thought I wouldn’t be able to play in England

Alejandro Faurlin’s return to action cannot come soon enough – both for the player himself and the QPR fans who hold him in such high esteem.

His immense popularity was underlined by the stick I took last season for suggesting he was seen by some opposing managers as a potential weak link in the Rangers side and might find the going tough in the Premier League.

It didn’t go down well with the many supporters who believe Faurlin is tailor-made for the top flight.

And until the knee injury which ended his campaign in January, he was ever-present and reportedly attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham.

Faurlin, who is about to enter his fourth year at Loftus Road, enjoys the feeling of proving doubters wrong.

Mark Hughes has described Faurlin's absence as "deepy frustrating".

“It’s funny because in football people have opinions and as a professional you accept that,” he says.

“I am used to it because at the beginning there were people who didn’t think I would be a player. Then they said I wouldn’t play in the first team and I did.

“When I came to England some people said to me: ‘England? Never – it’s too fast’ and they thought I wouldn’t be able to play in this country, but I did.

“Then going into the Premier League I did my best and just kept trying to improve as much as possible.

“You can always prove yourself at every level you move up to if you have the quality and the belief in yourself.

“It’s all about hard work and humility. If you believe in yourself and you know what you can do then that is what matters most.”

Faurlin’s time at Rangers has been challenging to put it mildly.

He was admired for the way he handled the furore of an FA investigation into his move to west London.

But even before the events of last spring, he had shown great maturity to settle quickly in a new country – and at a basket-case of a club that simply didn’t do stability.

“I think I’ve grown up a lot in English football I have to say,” he says.

“It’s been tough at times – very tough – but there are also people who helped me.

“First of all there was Jim Magilton, who I must thank a lot. Neil Warnock too. I really hope I can continue improving with Mark Hughes.

Joined QPR in 2009
Player of the year in 2010
Has made 101 starts for the club
21 of them last season
Scored in 3-0 win at Wolves

“I just look forward to carrying on working and keep improving myself. It’s what I always try to do.”

Faurlin’s next big challenge is to return for the start of the new season.

He was recently given the green light to step-up his recovery and is hopeful of being able to join his team-mates for full pre-season training.

In the meantime, he will spend most of the summer completing his rehabilitation at Rangers’ Harlington training ground – often with only Kieron Dyer for company.

“Everyone is happy with the way the knee is recovering and now it’s a case of building up the muscle around it,” Faurlin explains.

“It will mean a lot to me to play again because the last few months have been difficult, but I keep smiling because you must always enjoy your life.

“It’s really frustrating because we worked so hard to be promoted and have the chance to play in the Premier League, and then I couldn’t play for six months.

“But now, thanks to the guys, we have stayed up and I will have that chance again, which is fantastic.

“I don’t care about holidays. I just want to stay here and make sure I do everything I need to do to get back.

“All I care about is the games – being in the dressing room, being with the other guys. I really look forward to it because I miss it. I really, really miss it.”

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