Caulker: New-mood QPR can challenge for promotion

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Steven Caulker says sweeping changes at QPR have helped him settle back in at Loftus Road – and believes the club can push for promotion under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

The centre-back joined Rangers in 2014, when they were last in the Premier League, but spent last season on loan at Southampton and Liverpool after the club’s relegation.

Caulker returned to the side in the opening games of this season, until a groin injury saw him miss the game at Wigan last weekend.

And the 24-year-old says Hasselbaink’s younger, leaner squad are keen to challenge at the right end of the table.

“It has been great working under the gaffer,” Caulker told the official QPR website.

“Everyone is really hungry in that changing room. We all want to get better. The manager is on top of us every day, demanding the best from us.

“There have been big changes since I was here two years ago. There are now a lot of young, fresh faces around.

“I believe there is no reason why we shouldn’t be targeting a promotion push. That’s what we would love to do, and I am sure that’s what the fans want to see.”

Caulker admitted he hadn’t enjoyed his time at St. Mary’s and Anfield last season, having played in only six Premier League games – and says he is happier with regular football in the Championship.

“Last year was difficult,” he said.

“I certainly don’t knock it because I learned a lot from it, but being back here and being involved in the wins against Leeds and Cardiff was great, you just can’t compare that feeling of playing.”