QPR Focus - Dyer looks to get his career back on track at Loftus Road
Kieron Dyer is looking to resurrect his injury plagued career this season with QPR, looking to put behind him the horrific luck that saw him make only 35 appearances in four years for former club West Ham, as well as the 24 minutes of top flight football that his current club has seen him play in over a year.
The 33-year-old was a surprise inclusion at right-back against Tottenham last weekend, coming up against one of the quickest wingers in the world, Gareth Bale. For a player who has been dogged with hamstring injuries all his career, it was a good test for Dyer both physically and mentally, to see whether he can still cut it at the highest level. Throughout the game he was up and down the wing and certainly didn’t show any signs of the injuries that have held him back in recent years.
His introduction against Tottenham was met with ironic cheers from his own supporters, but Dyer himself knows that he will never be able to shake the ‘injury-prone’ tag that he is now known for: "I’ve been called a lot worse than injury-prone, trust me. I’ve been called every name under the sun, but I know if I stay on the pitch then I know I’m going to prove the doubters wrong."
Dyer also revealed the lengths the QPR backroom staff are going to in order to keep him fit and healthy: "There’s a lot of sports science involved. We take saliva tests, pee tests, everything in the morning. If my saliva test is a bit high, they pull me out of training, or modify it. They’re doing fantastically well for me - and it seems to be working. They take a swab and can tell if you’re feeling stressed, if your body’s not 100%. That’s the way the game is going."
Dyer took a lot of confidence when QPR appointed manager Mark Hughes, with the former Manchester City boss insisting he was still part of his plans, especially when he offered the former England player a deal to stay at the club this summer.
The next step for Dyer is to establish himself as a regular in the team and after impressing at full-back against Tottenham, there is no reason he can’t do that. Despite being known as a midfielder, Dyer actually started his career as a right-back at his first club, Ipswich Town. He also made his England bow there back in 1999.
With the high level of competition in QPR’s midfield it would seem Dyer’s best chances of playing regular football may be as a flying full-back, edging out Jose Boswinga, who many consider to be inconsistent.
Wherever Dyer finds himself playing at QPR will surely not bother him, with just the fact of him being on the pitch being enough and putting an end to a disastrous few years of injuries. He will hope to establish himself again as the player who has represented his country 33 times and played at two major championships.
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