Dyer: Quitting never an option
Kieron Dyer insists he never thought about quitting football during his latest nightmare spell on the sidelines.
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Dyer played 90 minutes of Barclays Premier League football for the first time since November 2010 on Sunday when he replaced Jose Bosingwa in the opening stages of QPR's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.
Before the game Dyer had only played 24 minutes of top-flight football for Rangers since signing for the London club on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old picked up an ankle problem six minutes in to his debut last August and then suffered a setback in his rehabilitation before sustaining ligament damage in a reserve game against Spurs which ruled him out for the remainder of last season.
The former England midfielder had been dogged by hamstring and leg injuries prior to joining the Hoops, but he insists he never thought about retiring thanks to the faith shown in him by manager Mark Hughes, who handed him a surprise contract extension in the summer.
"If it had been a repeat of my hamstring injuries then I would have worried about my career, but the injuries I had last year were just freak ones," Dyer said.
"Not once did I get down. I just thought that if I get another chance then I'm going to prove everyone wrong. I got a lot of messages of support and the new contract was a huge vote of confidence for me.
"Neil Warnock was devastated when I got the injury. He said to give it a few weeks and then we'd sit down and talk about the future. But then there was a change of manager and Mark Hughes pulled me straight away and said he wanted to give me another chance.
"He said: 'I want you to get fit and next season we're going to give you another chance because I've played against you in the past and I know what you can do'."
With Dyer having played just 35 times in four years for West Ham, many were surprised QPR took a chance on the former Newcastle player at the beginning of last term.
The fact his introduction was greeted with ironic cheers from the home support clearly shows many feel Dyer will never be able to shake off his 'injury-prone' tag, but he is not worried about any sniping that comes his way from the terraces.
"I've been called a lot worse than injury-prone, trust me," he said.
"I've been hammered many a time through the years and you do develop a thick skin so it doesn't bother me. I've been called every name under the sun, but if I stay on the pitch then I know I'm going to prove the doubters wrong."
Dyer went some way to proving his critics wrong with a solid performance at White Hart Lane.
The Ipswich-born player slotted in to the right-back position comfortably and kept the likes of Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey relatively quiet until the Welshman out-paced the entire QPR defence en route to setting up Jermain Defoe for Tottenham's winner in the second half.
Dyer was happy with his performance and with QPR currently suffering from a shortage of defenders, the 33-year-old may well be called upon for Wednesday's Capital One Cup game against Reading and the club's league game against West Ham on Monday night.
"I hope I've got a lot of games left in me," he said.
"Yesterday was a good test for me, I'm gutted we didn't get the three points but from a personal view it's going well.
"I feel 100%. I felt I was up and down like a young Kyle Walker, especially in the first half. The hamstrings held up well and playing against one of the best wingers in the world in Gareth Bale was a good test."