Exclusive: Chris Day
Chris Day has spoken exclusively to Vital QPR about his time in W12 in the first of a two part article.
You signed for cash-strapped Rangers back in 2001 - How did the move come about?
After being released by Watford I received a call from Kenny Jackett who I had worked with there for4 years. He said he was joining QPR as assistant boss and asked if I would like to come over and sign and of course I jumped at the chance. He was also a major reason in Steve Palmer coming over as well along with one or two other familiar faces from my time at Vicarage road
As a club we were decidedly short on players at the time, what was training like, and were there a lot of trialists?
We had a lot of trialists in and out throughout pre season and a small squad as many of the previous seasons players had been released or let go because of administration. Thankfully a great turn out v Celtic then a great result v Chelsea made us all settle very quickly and get a feel for the club and fans
You picked up a nasty injury in your first season at Loftus Road - How did that take its toll on your career?
After a steady solid start I unfortunately suffered a bad leg break v Oldham and missed a year of training and almost 17 months of action in the team. Although the injury took me a long time to get over (even whilst back in the side- I played a year and a half with the rod still in my leg) I feel I learned a lot by sitting in the stands watching and taking the action in. Even now with just having a major clear out of bone and scar tissue from the injury 7 years on to free up movement I am making progress!!!
How can you describe the play-off semi-final night against Oldham - and what was your reaction to 'that save' at the end of the game?
After a spell at Aylesbury which really benefitted myself I found myself back in the side on a cold night at Huddersfield. We then went on a great run to just miss out on automatic promotion and the drama of the play offs. To this day the night v Oldham is the best atmosphere I have known inside a football stadium with the drama and nerves gripping 19 plus thousand fans and 22 players on the pitch!! On a personal level the save in injury time is something I will never forget and it felt like poetic justice as in injury time against the same side 19 m0nths earlier I had the incident I would prefer to forget about!!! It was definitely fate!
Contrast with the play-off final defeat to Cardiff, what were your feelings on that day?
Although losing at Cardiff was a major disappointment just turning out and being involved felt like a triumph for myself - 80 thousand in a final barely 6 months after 80 people in an away cup game whilst at Aylesbury!! We never really got out of 3rd gear on the day and to lose so late on was a major kick in the teeth - I was relishing the prospect of penalties and when I landed after the ball nestled in the corner and looked up from the deck at all their fans erupting I felt sick !! Still I think this eventually galvanised us for the next season
We may have touched on this already but what were your highs and lows in a Rangers jersey?
My lows whilst at the club were getting injured and missing so long and walking the end of season thank you to the fans when I knew I would be leaving.
Highs were the night v Oldham and all the build up to the final and next seasons campaign in general which ended up with promotion.
You put in some memorable performances for Rangers - which would you say was your best?
My best performances always seemed to come away from home. I can remember the best save I have ever made v Wrexham away on a Tuesday night (a finger tip over the bar from about 4 yards) but I remember making 5 or 6 top notch saves away in a 1 nil win at Blackpool when we really under the cosh all afternoon.
Vital QPR would like to personally thank Chris Day for his contribution, and click on Vital QPR for the next instalment shortly!
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