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Darnell’s living the dream at Loftus Road

He’s been around QPR since he was a nipper and his dad scored goals for the Hoops – no wonder Darnell Furlong loves life at Loftus Road.

In January last year, the 22-year-old made his first start for the R’s nearly 14 and a half years after his father Paul joined the club from Birmingham.

By a twist of fate, it was current QPR boss Holloway who signed Furlong Snr all those years ago.

Striker Paul went on to become a fans’ favourite, scoring 54 goals in 162 league games, while the younger Furlong is now making his own mark at the west London club.

“Not only have I been here since I was ten, I was watching my dad from when I was very young, coming into training with him in the school holidays and things like that,” said the R’s right-back.

“I love the place and I just want to do well for myself and the club. I’m very honoured and I feel pride in what my dad did here, and how people talk about that.

“I definitely don’t see that as a hindrance at all.” Paul is now QPR’s Under-18s coach, though Furlong Jnr spent only a brief time being coached by his father in the 2014-15 season as he graduated to senior football.

The full-back has been on loan at Northampton, Cambridge and, most recently, Swindon.

His season-long spell in Wiltshire was brought to an early end midway through last term, soon after Holloway stepped into the Loftus Road hotseat for a second time.

He had a tricky spell earlier this season through injury but is now glad to be getting regular games under his belt again.

“It’s been really nice,” he said. “I had a difficult start to the season, when I wasn’t playing too much, and it’s difficult to take sometimes.

“When you’re not playing, although you’re getting better in training, the games are where you become a better player.

“I’m really loving being able to play and being able to work on my game.

“We’ve adopted more of the four at the back, which has freed up an extra space higher up the pitch and we’re scoring more goals because of it.

“The right wing-back spot is where I played a couple of times this year.

“But when we go into a simple four, it’s what everyone’s been doing all their life.”

Life at QPR recently has inevitably been affected by the death of stalwart Ray Wilkins.

Furlong believes there are plenty of people at Loftus Road determined to succeed as a tribute to their former player and manager.

“I’m sure my dad knew him,” he added. “It’s very sad news and more so for the gaffer and Les (Ferdinand, director of football). They were maybe closer to him.

“Hopefully, we can put a strong end to the season together. The gaffer and Les would be pleased with that.”

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