Fixtures Reaction - Martin Rowlands
Queens Park Rangers captain Martin Rowlands gives his reaction to the fixture list released yesterday (Wednesday).
Rangers yesterday found out who they were to face on the key dates in the forthcoming season, and an opening day test against Ian Holloway`s Blackpool has got club captain Martin Rowlands buzzing.
The skipper was signed by Ian Holloway back in 2003 despite suffering a broken leg with former club Brentford. He replaced fellow debutante Gareth Ainsworth in a 5-0 win over the aforementioned Tangerines on the opening day of the campaign.
Ainsworth made himself an instant hero bagging two goals for the R`s to pick them from the floor after playoff final defeat in Cardiff - the duo remain QPR`s longest serving players in the current squad.
'It's a good start for us and it will be great to see Ollie again,' Rowlands told QPR.co.uk
'I wish him all the best at Blackpool and I hope he's very successful there, but I won't be befriending him on the opening day.
'You can't underestimate how important it is to get off to a good start. It's massive.'
The importance of a good start has been underlined by boss Jim Magilton and the club captain reflects these comments believing it sets an early intention in a race for promotion.
He said: 'The first few games give us a good chance to get out of the traps early.
'We want to underline our intentions for the season right from the off.
'If we can string some good early results together, it would give the team confidence.
'Of course, no game is going to be easy in the Championship this season, but we've got to be happy with the start.'
From the first game at home to Blackpool to the final test against recently relegated Newcastle United, Rowlands is hoping for a grand finale in W12 when the R`s host the Toon Army.
'Newcastle is a fantastic final game for us," Rowlands added.
'It should be a full house and hopefully we'll go into it with something to play for, or even better, having already achieved something notable.
'It's a fixture everyone will be looking forward to, because Newcastle are a massive Club, and I'm certainly excited by it being our final game of the season.'
Last Ten Opening Day Fixtures
* QPR 3-1 Huddersfield Town - 07-08-99
* QPR 0-0 Birmingham City - 12-08-00
* QPR 1-0 Stoke City - 11-08-01
* QPR 3-1 Chesterfield - 10-08-02
* QPR 5-0 Blackpool - 09-08-03
* QPR 1-1 Rotherham United - 07-08-04
* Hull City 0-0 QPR - 06-08-05
* Burnley 2-0 QPR - 05-08-06
* Bristol City 2-2 QPR - 11-08-07
* QPR 2-1 Barnsley - 09-08-08
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