sport

Fernandes: Work begins again

Tony Fernandes expressed his delight after Queens Park Rangers secured promotion back to the Premier League, but admitted they will have to be smarter this time around.

An eventful season for QPR ended in thrilling fashion with a 1-0 victory over Derby County in Saturday's Championship play-off final courtesy of Bobby Zamora's late goal.

It looked unlikely that QPR would be celebrating when Gary O'Neil's sending-off for a foul on Johnny Russell left them a man down for the final half hour, and chairman Fernandes admitted after the final whistle that it was hard to take in what had happened.

Asked for his overriding emotion, Fernandes told Sky Sports: "A little bit of disbelief.

"It's been one of those seasons where we started off great but then had a lot of injuries and at one stage it looked like we wouldn't even get in the play-offs.

"Today we were under pressure but I just kept feeling that we might sneak a goal and Bobby paid us back big time today."

QPR have been criticised for the way the club has been run but Fernandes believes the future can be bright at Loftus Road if they learn from the mistakes of the past.

"I am very proud that we kept going. We have been attacked a lot in the press but we never gave up and it is a great feeling that we are going up.

"The hard works starts again, but this time we are a bit smarter and a bit wiser.

"It is a tough league but for now I am just going to enjoy the moment."

There had been suggestions that QPR would struggle financially if they failed to win promotion this season, but Fernandes says his commitment to the club has never wavered.

"I have always said that whether we went up, or came down, that we would continue our vision and our plan.

"Obviously I am a bit of a richer man today, but that is really a secondary emotion today."