Queens Park Rangers’ Ilias Chair has opened up about his career to date, and his time in West London in a down-to-earth interview with the Belgian.
Chair is one of the many young players to have blossomed under Mark Warburton this season.
He’s one third of the feared trio of Ebere Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Chair himself, and with 32 Championship appearances to his name so far this season, he’s firmly established himself in the QPR pecking order.
Last season he was on-loan at League Two side Stevenage. From the off, Chair was scoring these crazy goals and fans were loving it. It set him up to have a breakthrough season at QPR this time round, but Chair has had to work tremendously hard to make it to where he is today.
“I’ve always had to prove a point. I have that mindset where I want people to write me off. Write me off so I can prove you wrong and show you what I can do. That’s always the mentality I’ve had,” he told www.qpr.co.uk.
Chair is a slight character and as a youngster, the excuses for him to not make it as a professional were endless. But his stature doesn’t hold him back today – he’s one of the trickiest midfield players in the Championship on his day.
Of late though, Chair has become something of a ‘super-sub’. He’s come off the bench in QPR’s last five, scoring in two of them.
“You try to train well and I think for every football player, when you’re not starting you feel a bit hard done by and you can moan and search for excuses,” he explained.
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“For me though, it’s more about accepting the decision and then whenever I do get the chance, I need to prove to the coaches why I deserve to be starting. No matter if we’re winning or losing, I know I need to make an impact.”
Coming off the bench, Chair has looked a whole lot more dangerous. He’s a nippy player and coming on with 20 minutes or so to play, he seems to have a much greater impact on the game than when he starts.
“I don’t like to switch off at all,” continued Chair. “It’s difficult for me, it’s against my nature. It’s been 22 years now and that’s how it’s always been for me. The only thing I can think about is football, football, football. It’s why I’m missing it so much.”
QPR haven’t played since their 3-1 win at Preston at the start of last month. Chair featured in that game, coming off the bench at half-time and helping to inspire QPR to a fine comeback win with ten-men.
Warburton’s side sit in 13th-place of the Championship table as it stands, only six points behind Preston in 6th-place after that win at Deepdale.
“There’s that business part of football, but for me it’s always just been about having fun and doing what I love,” admitted Chair. “It’s about wanting the ball around your feet and playing with a smile on your face. That’s all.”
Watching Chair as a fan, his love for the game is evident. He always looks to be enjoying his football and this season we’ve seen a player with clear potential develop right in-front of our eyes.
With summer exits likely to happen at QPR, Chair could have a bigger role to play in Warburton’s starting XI next season, and expect him to step up to the plate once again.