Conor Masterson has made nine appearances since making the first-team breakthrough at QPR. Mark Kerton
Championship chase

Ireland U21 star bullish over QPR's Premier League prospects

Queens Park Rangers remain in the promotion hunt in the Championship, according to Conor Masterson.

IRISH DEFENDER CONOR Masterson remains adamant that Queens Park Rangers are still in with a shout of playing Premier League football next season.

The London outfit put themselves in contention to earn a play-off place in the Championship by embarking on a six-match unbeaten run before the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, their prospects suffered a major blow when the season resumed last Saturday. A 1-0 home loss to struggling Barnsley has left QPR seven points outside the play-offs with eight games to play.

Masterson, who started at centre-back, was one of three Irish players who featured against Barnsley. Galway native Ryan Manning was at left-back, while former Ireland U21 international winger Olamide Shodipo was introduced as a half-time substitute.

Ahead of tomorrow’s London derby away to Charlton Athletic, Masterson told ‘The Loftcast’ that Mark Warburton’s side haven’t given up on their push for promotion.

“I know we’re seven points off but we should be much closer,” he said. “I really think that if we get it right now, knuckle down and get a result against Charlton, we can push for the play-offs.

“I know it’s a long shot at the moment but the way we’re thinking and with the quality we have in the dressing room, and the way the gaffer and the coaching staff have been speaking to us, we believe that if we put it right on Saturday and then go on to the next game, we can really put ourselves in with a chance to get to the play-offs.”

Masterson has now made nine first-team appearances for QPR, the first of which came in a 5-1 FA Cup third-round win against Swansea City in January.

The 21-year-old Kildare native signed a two-year deal with the Loftus Road club last summer after being released by Liverpool, who he joined at 16.

He has also featured prominently for the Republic of Ireland at U21 level, winning 10 caps under Stephen Kenny in 2019.

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