Angel Rangel was in search of a new club in the summer of 2018, after the full-back saw his 11-year spell with Swansea City come to an end.
In an exclusive interview with Football League World’s Jacob Potter, Rangel revealed that he was rejected by a number of clubs before agreeing to join QPR in August 2018.
‘To be honest with you, after nearly 200 games in the Premier League, I got rejected by so many clubs that I tried to go to. The managers were talking and saying that I was too old, and I didn’t play many games the season when Swansea were relegated so I was getting a lot of rejections.
“I was training in Spain with an Indian team (Bengaluru FC) and I was heading there, and then QPR rang me and I was like ‘thank goodness for that’. They said they needed experience and I know QPR from playing against them. They’re a good club, Loftus Road is a very tough place to go to, and it’s got a lot of history.
“It was a good opportunity for me to go to a good level and do well in the Championship. I came here on a trial, had a few sessions because I told Steve McClaren I wasn’t fit. After a couple of those he decided that I could stay and I was very happy.”
The 36-year-old has been impressed with QPR’s start to the season this term, and insists that the atmosphere at the club is ‘very positive’, with Mark Warburton’s training methods being highlighted as one of the reasons as to why they’ve started this year’s campaign strongly.
“It’s a great start. We had a great pre-season and good preparations where we worked on so many different things. Fitness is a very big thing as you can see we look fit this season, and play decent football which dominates games.
“The gaffer has done a good job, obviously having 15 new players, always takes a while to gel together. But we’ve got a fantastic group of lads where I’d say from day one that we all felt like we’ve known each other a long time. I think that’s a big bonus, this changing room is one of the best I’ve had in my whole career.
“The vibes are good and the environment is very positive, even when we haven’t won, things are still positive. We have a manager that is very demanding in a way that doesn’t let anyone drop their standards any day of the week. You can see we keep thing quite high and ready for the next game.”
The experienced defender revealed exactly what Mark Warburton is like on the training ground, and issued high-praise to the former Nottingham Forest boss for what he has brought to the QPR team this season.
“He’s very disciplined. He’s got lots of values as a person and as a coach. He emphasises a lot on how to talk to each other, he wants very good discipline off the pitch as well, he wants everything to be as professional as possible.
“If you do things right in the week with him, it won’t come as a surprise to see is doing well in league matches, as we’ve prepared well and we spend a decent amount of time on the training ground analysing other teams, and it’s paying off so far. You have to give credit to Mark for his start to the season because he’s doing the right things.”
Warburton has given a number of the club’s younger players a chance in the first-team in this year’s league campaign, and it’s certainly paying off, with QPR currently sat 11th in the Championship.
Rangel revealed that he is in close contact with some of those younger players, and has already helped them make some tough decisions that they’ve had to deal with early into their professional careers.
“As one of the senior players in the team, we take helping the younger players on as a second role in the squad. Not just in football advice, but it can be anything. Ilias for example is one that I get on with very well alongside Ebz (Eberechi Eze) and I like the way that when they don’t know something, they’ll always come and ask.
“It could be a contract situation, it could be something like ‘should I go on loan?’. Ilias didn’t know if he should go out on loan before moving to Stevenage last season. I said to him that I think it would be better for you to go out on loan and play senior football, and you can see that he’s come back a different player and has done well.
“We’ve got a few young lads but the good thing about it is that they are willing to work hard, to learn and listen to the senior members of the squad that have achieved things.”
Keep your eyes peeled for our final segment of our exclusive interview with Angel Rangel, as he talks about his future plans after he decides to call time on his playing career in football.