FL72 - Preview: QPR to get back on promotion hunt, says Gary O'Neil

Last Updated: 08/11/13 11:25am

Gary O'Neil aiming high at new club QPR

QPR stuttered in October, but a healthier squad and better form is reigniting their promotion push, says Gary O'Neil.

Speaking on FL72 - Preview show, the 30-year-old revealed his motives behind the move from West Ham in the summer and his relationship with manager Harry Redknapp.

O'Neil is preparing for Saturday's showdown at Reading, live on Sky Sports 1 from 12pm, and as he closes on a 400th career appearance, the midfielder is desperate to enjoy rising to the top flight for a third time.

"The Premier League is fantastic," said O'Neil, who has racked up 30 goals for six clubs. "To get QPR back there after the tough time the fans have had would be fantastic."

The R's are currently third in the second tier behind Burnley and Leicester having won just once in October after racking up seven victories in their opening nine league games.

"I don't think we've performed as well as we did at the start, especially going forward," O'Neil said, when asked whether the team had been too dependent on defence rather than going full-out for three points in games.

Improve

"It wasn't a plan not to - the squad just didn't really know each other and some bedding in was required. We had some fantastic defenders so we were winning 1-0.

"In recent games, though, we've managed to open up teams a little more and I'm sure we'll continue to improve.

I'd say we are in third gear right now - there are definitely a couple more to come and a couple of attacking players to return.

"October was tough. We had some hard fixtures away from home and we've had a lot of injuries and I don't think many Championship teams would have dealt with it as well as we have.

"We are blessed with a fairly large squad for this league so I'm sure we'll be Okay."

Success

"His desire is still there and he's been very open after the turmoil last season."

Gary O'Neil on Harry Redknapp

O'Neil became a free agent after failing to agree a new deal with the Hammers and having previously worked under Redknapp at Portsmouth, he opted to link up with him again.

On leaving Upton Park in August, O'Neil said: "It was tough but when I spoke to Harry I knew what he was trying to build and I really enjoyed the last promotion season with him and I felt I had something to offer QPR.

"Redknapp was a big part behind me moving. Everywhere he's gone, he's been successful. I wanted to be part of another success and I just thought he'd succeed this year.

"I had expected him to change though! But he hasn't changed at all. He has the same principles, he wants to play the right way and attract good players.

"His desire is still there and he's been very open after the turmoil last season. It would be a great feat to bounce back this season."

FL72 - Preview is on every Thursday night on Sky Sports.