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Thu Apr 24 14:39:30 SAST 2014

Nelsen rejoins Hughes at QPR

Sapa-AFP | 19 June, 2012 08:150 Comments
Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers - FA Cup Sixth Round
Ryan Nelsen of Spurs runs with the ball during the FA Cup sixth round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane on March 27, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

New Zealand centre-half Ryan Nelsen is to work with manager Mark Hughes again after signing a one-year contract on Monday with Premier League club Queens Park Rangers.

Nelsen, who played under the former Wales boss at Blackburn Rovers, spent the closing months of last season’s Premier League campaign at QPR’s London rivals Tottenham Hotspur after seven years at Ewood Park.

The 34-year-old defender said the chance to work with Hughes again was a “massive draw”.

Nelsen told QPR’s website: “I like his winning attitude. He and all his staff just have an absolute desire to win, and that’s what the Premier League is all about. If you haven’t got that, you won’t be successful.

“The owners have got fantastic ambition and it’s exciting to become a part of that. There is a real buzz about the place and it is a privilege to be here.” 

Meanwhile Hughes, who oversaw QPR’s last-day escape from relegation after replacing the sacked Neil Warnock at Loftus Road in January, was equally excited about having Nelsen back on board.

“I know what he is all about and what he can offer us, both on and off the pitch,” said Hughes. “He is a fantastic professional with a great work ethic and it will benefit the younger lads in the group to see how he goes about his work.

“Ryan has got great experience in the Premier League and that is something our squad is lacking a little bit at present.” 

Nelsen joined on a free transfer on Monday and so too did former England striker Andy Johnson from nearby fellow London club Fulham, where he played under Hughes.

“I have worked closely with Mark before and there are also players here that I have played with previously, including Bobby Zamora and Shaun Derry,” said Johnson. “Those were factors in me joining, but this is a big, big club.

“I have spoken to the chairman and Mark, who both have great ambition for QPR, and it is something that I wanted to be a part of.

“Mark told me about the plans for a new training ground and how the club wants to go forward. That really excited me.” 

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