Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Morrison still hopeful for England

Ravel Morrison has joined QPR on loan

Ravel Morrison will spend the rest of the season trying to help QPR get out of the Championship - a move he does not believe will put a late call-up to England's World Cup squad beyond him.

Having seemingly overcome a troubled start to his professional career, the 21-year-old midfield livewire finally came to the fore for the right reasons this season.

Morrison shone for West Ham after breaking into the first-team, scoring a fine solo goal in the 3-0 win at Tottenham, and quickly became an important player for the England Under-21s.

Such performances saw the Manchester United academy graduate's stock rise markedly, with England boss Roy Hodgson saying just before the turn of the year that he had "great faith" in him and "enormous admiration" for his ability.

However, less than two months on, Morrison's lack of playing time has seen him step down to the Championship to join QPR in a 93-day emergency loan and looks to have seen any World Cup chances go up in smoke.

The attacker, though, is not giving up and when asked if he can still make the plane to Brazil said: "Hopefully. It is a bigger step than it was, but hopefully it can happen, yeah."

To do that Morrison will need the game time denied to him at West Ham, with speculation rife as to why that dried up under Sam Allardyce, especially having rejected overtures for him from Fulham in January.

"I just want to help QPR get to the Premier League - that's my only objective during my time here," he told the club's official website,www.qpr.co.uk.

"If we manage to do that, it would be great for everybody connected with the club.

"All I want to do is play football. I just want to show everyone what I can do week in, week out.

"The aim here is to get the club promoted and I want to contribute in helping QPR to get there."

Morrison will wear the number four shirt for QPR and is in line to make his debut against Charlton on Saturday.

His arrival may well prove a timely shot in the arm for Harry Redknapp's side, whose tilt at an immediate return to the Premier League has begun to stutter.

The Hoops' 3-1 home defeat to Reading on Sunday leaves them four points off the automatic promotion spots, while their loan move from Morrison covers the possibility of the play-offs.

West Ham do have the option to recall their player after 28 days, but Redknapp hopes to keep him for the entire loan period as he believes he can make a "big difference" for the Rs.

"Ravel is fit and ready to play and I'm hoping he can come in and make an impact," the Rangers boss said.

"He's got fantastic ability, there's no doubting that. He's got great pace, can dribble and score a goal.

"If we can get the best out of him, he could make a big difference."

Getting the best out of Morrison is not always easy - just ask Sir Alex Ferguson - but Redknapp is confident of doing just that.

The QPR boss has spoken in length to Birmingham counterpart Lee Clark about how to utilise the livewire's talents, having spent the 2012/13 on loan at the second city club.

"I spoke with Lee and he absolutely loves him," Redknapp said. "He said he'd take him back tomorrow if he could.

"He's certainly a talented footballer - he's just got to step up now. He's got to come here and show what he can do consistently. He's got everything. We're pleased to have him here."

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