Cook: QPR don't need Zidane or Figo

QPR winger Lee Cook says the club doesn’t need the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo to win promotion to the Premier League. With the club’s future bankrolled by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Formula 1 tycoons Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, there is renewed hope at Loftus Road. Many fans expect new first-team coach Paulo Sousa to use his legendary status – and the owners’ money – to attract a host of galacticos. The club are 10th in the Championship table, just two points of the play-off places and 12 behind the automatic promotion spots. But boyhood Rs fan Cook is adamant the club don’t need to splash the cash on big-name stars to lead the promotion charge. “The majority of the players have a knowledge of what is required to get out of this division and I think that’s the way forward,” he writes exclusively in this month’s FourFourTwo magazine, out now. “Does anyone really think that Zidane and Figo – who were linked this summer – would have relished running out at Oakwell on a cold Tuesday night?” Cook, who has returned to Shepherd’s Bush on a season-long loan from Fulham, admitted the west London club have put a three-year plan in place. But the 26-year-old, now in his third spell at the club, is confident Rangers have what it takes to achieve this goal earlier than expected. “A three-year plan is in place, but I believe we can get there sooner,” he says. “With Iain Dowie gone, there has been a period of adjustment, but there will be no let-up from our fans for us to get up this season. “There’s definitely more pressure, because of our wealth, and you have to be able to handle it.” Cook admitted he was disappointed to be shown be door by Fulham after featuring in the club’s pre-season tour of South Korea, but he confesses it’s a whole new ball game at QPR – a club fit for a supermodel. “The club has changed dramatically; stepping through a revamped reception, onto a pitch overlooked by new seats and a jumbo screen,” he said. “I made my way up to the executive boxes to sign my loan deal – boxes that were now boasting plasma screens, leather sofas and wooden floors. “Well, if you’re hosting the likes of Naomi Campbell, ’80s decor will hardly do…” But it’s not just the interior design that has caught Cook’s eye: the former Watford and Charlton player praised the club’s new training facilities. “The training pitches have also improved; it can get wet and windy and the pitches are heavy as a result. But they’ve been refurbished and the main pitch is as good as anything you’ll find in the Premier League,” he beamed. And Cook, who waived his signing-on fee on to Rangers when he left for Fulham to ease the club’s financial difficulties, has revealed he hopes to join QPR on a long-term basis in January – and to cash in on the club’s newfound wealth. “I’m hoping to sign permanently in January,” he said. “Will I ask for my signing-on fee back? I’m sure there will be a passing mention…”

The new issue of FourFourTwo – featuring Cook, Ronaldinho, Wilshere, Essandoh, Simon Jordan, 100 players your club should sign and Leeds 1974 in panto – is out now. If you're going to quote this piece, and you're welcome to, please credit us and provide a link.

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