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McClaren: Wells is exactly what we need

Nahki Wells (Photograph by Burnley Football Club)

Nahki Wells will be hoping for a place in Queens Park Rangers squad that will face Wigan Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship tomorrow.

The Bermuda striker is keen to make his debut at the earliest opportunity after joining the West London side on a season-long loan from Premier League side Burnley yesterday.

QPR play Wigan at Loftus Road, which has been happy hunting ground for the 28-year-old, who has scored on each of his previous three outings there.

“I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Loftus Road,” Wells told the QPR website. “It’s a great ground. I’m looking forward to playing there regularly and hopefully I can continue that run of scoring goals at home now.”

Wells is eager to get a run of games under his belt after playing only ten matches for Burnley last season, all as a substitute.

“Burnley signed me for a reason and it didn’t work out the way I would have liked it to,” he added. “Of course, it was always going to be a difficult challenge moving to Burnley on the back of a promotion with Huddersfield and moving while I was injured. So I was always fighting an uphill task and I just got limited opportunities.

“As a striker, you need a run of games; you need numerous opportunities and I was unable to get that.

“I’m coming to play a significant part. I know there is a platform there for me to go out there and play.”

QPR are anchored at the bottom of the table without a point, having started the league campaign with four straight losses, including a 7-1 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion last weekend. Wells believes that his previous experience in the second tier with Huddersfield, where he netted 48 goals in 152 appearances, can help turn QPR’s fortunes around.

“It’s a challenge that excites me a lot,” he said. “I have had the struggles of fighting to stay in the league as well as getting promoted. I like to think the club is getting someone who’s hungry, excited, who has experience at this level and knows what it takes to grind out a long, tough season.”

Wells’s arrival at QPR comes nearly five years after the club reportedly lined up a £3 million bid for him while he was playing with League Two side Bradford City.

Wells is one of two Premier League strikers joining Rangers on season-long loans yesterday. Tomer Hemed, the Israel forward, has also joined from Brighton & Hove Albion, and the Bermudian is convinced the pair can be assets to the club.

“It’s not been a great start from the group,” Wells said. “But if you actually watch and actually examine how the games have gone, I don’t think the results exactly justify how the games have gone.

“It’s been a minor swing, and a decision, or an opportunity or mistake and we’ve been punished. So with the contribution of myself and others who have come in, like Tomer, and the others that we have, it will be great to start scoring goals again and showing up a bit at the back and the results will come.”

Wells will be playing under former England manager Steve McClaren, who took over at Loftus Road in the close season, but is already under pressure after QPR’s lacklustre start to the campaign.

“I’m delighted with Tomer and Nahki now too to join him,” McClaren said. “I know them very well — they’re a nightmare to play against! I’m glad to have them in our squad. They’re two very good strikers with great pedigree and experience.

“Nahki is proven, he scores goals. He’s scored goals at this level, he’s played in a team which has secured promotion so he’s someone who’s been there and done that. That’s exactly what we need.”