We were delighted when Paul Furlong agreed to give us a quick interview after the Chesterfield match last weekend. Paul talks about the play offs, the outrageous stick he received last season, Richard Langley's departure and much more. Many thanks to Paul for taking time out after the game for us.
QPRnet.com: I bet you’re pleased with the goal today?
PF: Yeh very much so! I’ve been on the free kicks for a little while now and not managed to score from one so it’s pleasing to see the hard work put in during training pay off. But overall it was a very good result today. To be fair they weren’t a bad team, Chesterfield, and they were always going to come down here and make it difficult for us. They’ve drawn all the games they’ve played so they are a solid outfit but we turned them over today.
QPRnet.com: When you joined Rangers on loan last season what were you looking to achieve? Were you mainly looking to get your fitness up or did you see it becoming a permanent situation?
PF: It was bit up in the air at the time, I’d had loads of injuries during my spell at Birmingham it was about two years non stop with different injuries and operations so I was just pleased that Ian Holloway gave me the chance to play football and I figured whatever happened after that would happen.
QPRnet.com: You’re a similar player to Kevin Gallen in some ways, you both like to hold the ball up and bring others into play but you work very well together as a partnership. Are you enjoying playing alongside him?
PF: Definitely but they are all quality players the strikers we have here. There’s Kevin Gallen, Tony Thorpe, Richard Pacquette and Eric Sabin to come in as well so I don’t mind who I play up front with, I just get on with it and do the job.
QPRnet.com: You get booked an awful lot, do you think that’s because you’re from a different time in football and the game has changed since you first started playing?
PF: I don’t really know, you go through these phases. You want to work hard, you want to do well for the team and put yourself about and sometimes you get the odd booking and some ref’s see it different to others. For example I thought I was going to get booked early doors today when I caught their keeper but the referee turned a blind eye to it. Its part and parcel of the game, sometimes you get the booking, sometimes not.
QPRnet.com: You got some awful stick last year. I remember against Vauxhall when you came on a sub to boo’s. I could see the look of shock on your face, is it fair to say that surprised you?
PF: Erm, it did a bit. I know as a striker when you go to different clubs and you’re not scoring or not performing you get a bit of stick but it did take me by surprise. I don’t know if it’s the background I was from or what it was all about really but I’m stronger than that and better than that. I knew if I kept on doing my best it would eventually turn things round for me.
To be fair when I was going through that time the management staff here and the other players around me they all helped me an awful lot, they kept on encouraging me and helped me get through it which was brilliant.
QPRnet.com: Can you talk us through the goal in the play off semi final and what went through your mind?
PF: I remember Clarke around the halfway line pushing the ball through the middle and I thought I’d race onto it. To be fair I thought Fitz Hall was going to get a little touch on it and knock it wide but I managed to keep him off and slot it.
Afterwards it was pure shock really, the time we scored was perfect and what it meant was just fantastic. The whole night there was one I’ll never, ever forget. It will stay with me for as long as I live. Amazing, amazing happenings. That night is one of the highlights of my career, I’ve played in Europe with Chelsea but to score that goal and see what it meant to the whole place was fantastic.
QPRnet.com: Onto Cardiff, the day must have been a fantastic experience but the result must have been as devastating for you as it was for us?
PF: The build up was tremendous, the day’s leading up to the final were fantastic. The coach ride on the way to Cardiff and seeing all the fans with the cars decorated was a dream come true. Playing in big finals like that is something you always want to do as a player.
We did well on the day and I was getting myself ready for penalties then Campbell goes through and scores the winner. It was devastating, it just seems that everything you’ve done that year has been wiped away just like that. But that’s football and we’re here to bounce back and hopefully we can do it automatically this year and not have to go through that again.
Coming into the changing rooms after the game there were a lot of people really hurt, big grown men really upset. So we’ve experienced that, we don’t want to experience it again and hopefully we can use that to help us go up automatically. The morale and spirit in the camp is very good, I think that showed last year and we’ve taken it through to this.
QPRnet.com: Losing Richard Langley was obviously a blow for the club but from your point of view it means you’ve now got a winger either side of you and as a player who thrives on crosses that must be good for you?
PF: Yeh, it’s obviously disappointing to see Langley go but he’s gone onto other things. He wanted to play first division football and Cardiff have given him the opportunity to do so. But yes we’ve got two good wingers here now; it’s more exciting, more crosses coming in for myself so it’s looking good.
QPRnet.com: Do you set yourself goal scoring targets in a season?
PF: No I don’t really, it’s something I leave and let it deal with itself. Come the end of the year I’ll add them up!
QPRnet.com: You’re 34 now; do you see yourself finishing your career here?
PF: I’d like to think so. I’m a London boy and I’ve always been a keen supporter of Queens Park Rangers, always looked out for them. It would be nice to finish my career here but personally I’d like to play for as long as I can, if that can’t be here then I don’t know what will happen.
QPRnet.com: How long do you think the legs will handle a full season?
PF: It’s difficult to tell really, at the moment I’m feeling very good. As I said prior to last season I barely played for two years so knowing what’s it’s like to be out, not playing and having to watch so now I’ve just said to myself that I’ll play for as long as I can and see how it goes. After that I’d like to get my coaching badges and see where it takes me. I’d like to stay in the game; I don’t think I’m quite cut out to be a manager so a coaching role could suit me better.