QPR’s Mr Dependable

Clint Hill thought he was finished at QPR two weeks ago and would always look back on his solitary Premier League appearance with regret.

Handed a chance to play in the top flight at the age of 32, his big day ended in disaster – Rangers were thumped 4-0 by Bolton and he was sent off for lashing out at Martin Petrov.

While he was serving a suspension, his club signed the likes of Armand Traore and Luke Young, and Hill doubted he would get a chance to redeem himself.

“I wasn’t in the side – or even the squad – and it seemed I wasn’t in the manager’s plans.”

But after being loaned to Nottingham Forest, he was recalled 24 hours before playing in the recent derby victory against Chelsea.

“The feelings I had after those two matches couldn’t have been more different,” Hill told West London Sport.

“I was so disappointed with myself after the Bolton game. I reacted in a way I shouldn’t have and know I let myself down.

“It messed me up for the next two months and I thought it would end up being my one and only game in the Premier League, which would have been tough to take after waiting all my career to play at that level.

“To be honest I thought that was it for me. I wasn’t in the side – or even the squad – and it seemed I wasn’t in the manager’s plans.

“I went to Forest to play some games and was thinking that if I did well I might get a year there.

“It was a massive shock to get the call on the Friday telling me I was going back – and even more of a shock to play against Chelsea.”

Traore recovered from a thigh problem in time to return to the side for Sunday’s defeat against Tottenham, but Hill – a substitute in that game – is determined to prove he can remain a valuable squad player.

And he is equally determined to enjoy what could be his final months at the club. His contract is due to expire next year and the former Tranmere man accepts that Rangers may look to replace him.

“I just want to show I can make a contribution to the team,” he said.

Hill was a vital player for QPR as they won promotion last season

“We’ve seen already this season that lads who’ve spent most of their career in the Championship can perform when called upon. Heidar Helguson’s done it and Shaun Derry has been a vital cog for us.

“Obviously the takeover means things have changed for the club in terms of transfer targets. But I love playing for QPR and if called upon I’ll always give my all.

“And if does turn out to be my last season at the club then I definitely want to play well and go out on a high.”

That will partly depend on manager Neil Warnock, who took the player from Crystal Palace to west London and once described Hill as “a gem of a man.”

Warnock is likely to add another full-back to his squad when the transfer window reopens but would have no qualms about turning to one of his most trusted performers if need be.

“Nothing that lad ever does surprises me now,” said Warnock.

“I thought he’d probably played his last game for me and then he comes back and does brilliantly against Chelsea.

“Clint Hill will never let you down. Simple as that. He was gutted after the Bolton game and didn’t deserve to go out on that note, so I’m delighted for him.”