It has been 50 games missed (up to and including Tuesday night`s non-appearance for the Rs, despite being a substitute against Swansea) in 11 ½ months since that injury which led to a double break of Rowan Vine`s leg (thanks, Matt Pickens!). But on Wednesday night, Viney played 60 full minutes in a Reserve Team game against Charlton Athletic`s reserves.
And it was a very successful 60 minutes to boot. First, Vine won a penalty after being brought down clumsily in the box; then he grabbed the ball himself and struck a well-taken penalty to put the Rs` reserves 1-0 up. Before coming off, with his last kick of his game that night, he struck a sweet shot from about 20 yards out which deflected onto the crossbar – and that with his so-called weaker left foot.
After the match, QPR World caught up with Rowan. He admitted that he “felt very good to be out there; very comfortable out there.”
“I enjoyed every minute of and got myself on the score sheet so I am very happy,” Vine added.
When asked about the penalty, the Charlton defender claiming Vine dived, there was no doubt in Vine`s mind that the ref got it right! And looking at the highlights (because, regrettably for me, I couldn`t make the game on Wednesday) it looked a stonewall penalty to me, too!
“Yeah it was a pen! He caught me. I was going to get in and shoot. He definitely caught me.
“Obviously I had to throw the arms up to let the ref know that I`d be touched!” Vine admitted honestly.
It was a strong penalty that Viney took, sending Charlton`s reserve team goalie, Nicky Weaver, diving low to his right, Vine admitted favouring the right side “that`s usually my side” he told everyone who was listening. But even though Weaver had guessed correctly, Vine still scored because it was such a well-struck penalty. But Vine did confess that his heart did flutter momentarily till he saw the ball nestling in the back of the net!
Vine`s last kick of the game was to hit the crossbar from a 20 yard – and that was after 60 minutes of play. He looked fit and eager at the end and admitted that he could happily have kept on going but knew he had to come off at that point.
“I felt good. In different circumstances I would`ve been annoyed to come off, but it was my first game and it was a good work out for me. Obviously I knew the programme was to bring me off after 60 and I was glad to get there.”
He didn`t even feel at all rusty – despite not having played for nearly one whole year.
“It was a good game for me, there was a good blend of young players and a couple of experienced players on their team as well as ours. I got stuck in straightaway and I didn`t feel rusty. I made some nice touches and I felt good.”
Talk then turned to Vine`s potential involvement against Bristol City this weekend. Is it too soon for him after having had just one training match and one reserve team outing? Arsene Wenger, for example, didn`t bring Eduardo back to the First Team for a couple of months after he started playing Reserve Team football having suffered a similar double break to Vine. Mind you – Eduardo did pull his hamstring in his first reserve outing – something which, thankfully, does not seem to have happened to Viney!
“I can hope. I was on the bench last night and played 60 today. I have obviously done myself favours. I`ve got though it. I`ve done well.
“I`ve got to look to the first team games. It was a great win last night, the place was buzzing a little bit. I want to be involved. I want get back out there!”
Vine`s final remarks were reserved for us – the fans. His fans! He admitted that he was really chuffed when he heard the crowd singing his name on Tuesday night.
“It was good. The fans have always been brilliant with me. There`s been a sticky patch and there`s been a few moans and groans around the place lately. It was nice to have the fans back on side and obviously chanting my name. It was brilliant!”
Well, it`s brilliant that Rowan Vine is back, back, back!
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