QPR boss Holloway insists Furlong can deal with Sessegnon

Ian Holloway has backed in-form QPR defender Darnell Furlong to deal with Fulham sensation Ryan Sessegnon in today’s derby at Craven Cottage.

Right-back Furlong, 22, has impressed since being recalled to the Rangers side and faces a major test up against Sessegnon.

The 17-year-old has scored 14 goals for Fulham this season and attracted plenty of interest from top Premier League clubs.

But Holloway insists no special plan has been made to subdue Sessegnon.

“No. Furlong’s in good enough form to deal with him,” the Rangers manager declared.

“Darnell is getting better and better all the time. As a defender, you could put your house on him. You could put your life on him, because he never, ever gives up. He’s always positive, no matter what.

“His defensive qualities, I don’t think there are many limits to him. He’s so athletic. It’s just about him realising that and taking the mantle – and that’s not easy when you’re only 22.”

The threat of Sessegnon is potentially Furlong’s most difficult examination since coming up against Alexis Sanchez in a game against Arsenal three years ago in only Furlong’s second senior appearance for QPR.

Since then Furlong, whose father Paul was a key player for the R’s during Holloway’s first spell as manager at Loftus Road, has
has three spells out on loan and faced a tough battle to secure a regular first-team place.

But Holloway is convinced he can maintain his recent form.

“He’s not a flash in the pan. The club has got him right, I believe,” Holloway said.

“He’s had to earn it, because he’s been out on loan a few times and he’s always been one who has been overlooked. But at the moment you can’t ignore him.

“I’m very proud of the boy. I think he comes from fantastic stock. He’s been very well educated in his football and his life. The young man he is, he’s someone I see as a leader.

“How he deals with disappointment is exactly as it should be. He never lets it show, always keeps going and is so determined.

“I’ve got fantastic hopes and aspirations for that young man. That’s the sort of person we want at the club.”