QPR’s late decision disappoints O’Neil

Gary O’Neil says a late decision by QPR not to offer him a new deal has affected his chances of finding another club.

O’Neil, whose one-year contract at Loftus Road expired this summer, was invited to join Rangers on their pre-season trip to Germany despite being told he is not in boss Harry Redknapp’s plans for the coming season.

But the midfielder insisted: “I have no grudges at all. I understand the business. The club needs to move forward and I understand that.

“They need to get some top players in because otherwise they are going to be down the bottom of the league.

“The only thing that was a bit annoying is how late I was told. But that’s just how things go.

“You move on and I am just trying to keep fit now and trying to find something that will keep me at a decent level next season.

“I was told pretty late, so I haven’t had much of a chance to look around really.

“By the time I was told most of the clubs were back training so it has left me in a bit of a difficult position, but I am sure it will work itself out.”

Bobby Zamora of QPR
Bobby Zamora was given a new deal because of his Wembley winner.

He added: “The club was good enough to take me last year and they have been good enough now to come and let me train.

“I’ve got on great with everyone here, the fans were great and the medical staff have still looked after me even though I am not employed by the club.”

O’Neil is credited by the Rangers camp with playing a pivotal role in the play-off triumph against Derby at Wembley that clinched promotion back to the Premier League.

He ‘took one for the team’ by bringing down Johnny Russell as the Derby player looked certain to score and as a result O’Neil was sent off early in the second half.

Rangers battled on with 10 men before Bobby Zamora scored a last-minute goal to take them up.

Veteran striker Zamora, previously certain to be released this summer, became an unlikely hero and was therefore given a one-year contract despite also not being in Redknapp’s future plans.

O’Neil, who made 33 Championship appearances last season, was not so fortunate.

With Esteban Granero back from a season on loan at Real Sociedad, fans favourite Alejandro Faurlin back from injury and Redknapp keen to sign at least one midfielder – Norwich’s Leroy Fer is among the manager’s targets – O’Neil was not made an offer.

QPR are looking to sign midfielder Fer from Norwich.
QPR are looking to sign midfielder Fer from Norwich.

“Anyone who has been given a new deal will have got it on merit,” O’Neil said.

“Football is like that; sometimes you are kept on for doing something a little bit important and other times you’re not.

“It’s fairly definite but if QPR don’t get some of their targets then I suppose there could always be a chance.

“I did well for them last season, so you never know. At the minute it’s a ‘no’ and I am just here to keep fit.

“Hopefully there will be a taker out there. I am open to anything at the minute.

“If you speak to anyone that’s out of contract they will tell you that it is a difficult market at the moment.

“Hopefully my appearance record and CV will stand me in good stead.”

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