Saturday 16 December 2017

Hiddink shrugs off Dutch critics

FORMER Ireland man Richard Dunne could be back in action for QPR before the end of the season even though the defender had been ruled out for the rest of the campaign, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

The 35-year-old, who retired from international football last year, has not played for his club in eight weeks after suffering a knee injury which threatened to finish his season.

That was a big concern for Dunne, who is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and he was facing the prospect of his career being over if he was unable to convince a club of his fitness and win a new deal. But Rangers boss Chris Ramsey has now revealed that Dunne, along with fellow injury victim Leroy Fer, is back in training and could feature for the relegation-threatened club.

"Leroy Fer and Richard Dunne are working really hard and the medical staff have been really good with them. We are hoping that in the next one to two weeks one or maybe both of them will be ready for consideration," says Ramsey.

Dunne's club are second from bottom in the Premier League and are four points away from safety. They have a testing time ahead, back to back away games, against West Brom and Dunne's former club Aston Villa, over the Easter period before a game at home to champions-elect Chelsea.

Dunne celebrates his 36th birthday later this year and the Tallaght native is unsure of his next move. If QPR are relegated, the London side may consider a new contract offer for the defender but if Rangers do stay in the Premier League, the veteran knows he could struggle to earn a new contract.

Dunne made 18 appearances for the side this season before injury.

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