Former QPR keeper Lee Camp found himself back on the pitch at Loftus Road this weekend in rather inauspicious circumstances, replacing striker Joel Asoro in the wake of Jason Steele’s red card.
Sunderland keeper Steele was sent off for handling the ball outside his area, meaning Camp got a surprise run out against his former side. He got a warm welcome too, from both sets of fans.
“I have been back here many a time and the fans here always given me a good welcome,” he said to Chronicle Live.
“It is a football club that is very fond to me. On a personal level it was nice to return but we have lost a game of football, it is not about me. It is about the team winning and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that.”
Ten-man Sunderland slipped to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Eberechi Eze’s 62nd minute strike.
Keeper Steele was dismissed four minutes into the second half after he raced outside of his penalty area to meet Darnell Furlong’s ball forward, got the bounce all wrong and handled the ball as a consequence.
The defeat leaves Sunderland four points adrift of safety with just nine games remaining, but despite the result Camp is still sure the Black Cats can avoid relegation to League One.
“These players are as frustrated as anybody but we go back to work this week and we start again. Nobody will be giving up, we are doing everything possible to get the job done.”
Camp is currently on-loan at the Stadium of Light from Cardiff City. He enjoyed three spells at QPR, joining twice on loan before sealing a £300,000 switch from Derby County in 2007.
Camp might be assuring fans the players won’t be giving up, but I’d wager a few fans might already have resigned themselves to League One next season.
Sunderland have only won once in 2018 and didn’t manage a shot on target all afternoon at Loftus Road. It’s going to be a tense nine games on Wearside, that is for certain.