Bowyer wary of Hoilett threat
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has earmarked former Ewood Park favourite Junior Hoilett as one of the main men his team will have to stop if they are to end QPR’s unbeaten home record today.
Hoilett, who scored 14 goals in 92 matches for Rovers after joining them as a 13-year-old, goes into the game with confidence high.
The Canadian winger was on target as second-placed QPR won 3-0 at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday to move level on points with Leicester City at the top of the Championship.
Their biggest win of the season also extended Harry Redknapp’s side’s run without a loss at Loftus Road to nine matches.
Bowyer worked with Hoilett when he was in charge of Rovers’ academy and knows the forward will be out to help QPR take that run into double figures today.
Bowyer said: “He’s an outstanding lad first and foremost.
“He was 15 when I first arrived at the club and the ability he had then you knew he was going to go on and have a career.
“Our fans know exactly what he’s capable of and I’m sure they will give him a great reception.
“It’s up to us make sure that we don’t give him a sniff in the game as I’m sure he will be right up for it.”
After refusing to sign a new contract Hoilett, now 23, left Rovers following their relegation from the Premier League.
He was linked with a host of clubs before eventually signing a four-year deal in July 2012 with then top-flight QPR.
Bowyer understood his decision and believes a player of Hoilett’s quality should still be playing in the Premier League.
“He’s top drawer,” said Bowyer. “I’ve always liked him and I always loved watching him play.
“In training as a kid I don’t think our lads could get the ball off him, he was that good.
“So it’s no surprise to me that he’s had such a prominent career.
“Obviously he wants to get back to the Premier League and you would have to say at this moment in time QPR are on course to do that, with the backing they’ve got and the squad they’ve got.
“But the match presents us with a massive opportunity to go there and become the first team that beats them – that’s what we’ll be setting out to do.”
Rovers striker DJ Campbell will also be out to impress today.
Campbell was on QPR’s books from six to 16 and rejoined his boyhood club from Blackpool in July 2011.
But he made just five starts for the Hoops during two injury-hit seasons and signed for Rovers on a free transfer in the summer.
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