Zamora 'deserves warm welcome'

  • Last Updated: April 1 2013, 8:51 BST

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has told Fulham fans that Bobby Zamora deserves a hero's welcome on his return to Craven Cottage tonight.

Zamora's goals helped fire Fulham into the 2010 Europa League final and he spent four years at the club before moving to QPR in January 2012.

Redknapp despairs at the way modern-day football supporters abuse the players they once cheered - and he hopes Zamora gets the reception he deserves.

"I don't know why you should get stick when you go back to a club where you have done so fantastically well," Redknapp said.

"Why do you abuse someone when they have given you good service and been a good player?

"I went to watch them play Juventus that night (in the Europa League). That was one of the best footballing nights I have ever been to.

"Fulham went 1-0 down and they were something like 4-1 down on aggregate (but came back to win 4-1 on the night) and Bobby ripped them to pieces.

"What a night of football, I loved every minute of it.

"Years ago people would go back to their old club and they would get a lovely ovation. Dear oh Lord, what has happened?"

After starting the season with a bang, scoring four times in his first five matches, Zamora has only found the net once since last September.

Bobby Zamora

Bobby Zamora

Title Number
Appearances 0 (0)
Goals 0
Assists 0
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

But Redknapp believes his return to fitness after overcoming an ankle injury and a dose of the flu is vital to QPR's chances of Premier League survival.

"He is important to us. He holds the ball up, he knows what he is doing and he knows how to play. Going back to Fulham will be interesting for him," Redknapp said.

Martin Jol says he has few regrets at losing a player with a dubious fitness record.

"Bobby wanted to move,'' said Jol. "He felt he could help QPR. Hopefully, after our game, he will help them. If he is fit he can help any team because he is a good striker.

"When he played he did ever so well but he missed 30 or 40 per cent of the games.

"If he was fit he was selected for the national team.

"He has got all the qualities, but when Bobby was not there we had a problem up front and that is why we changed it and now we have Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodallega and Dimitar Berbatov and most of the time they are fit to select.''

QPR are off the bottom of the table, courtesy of Reading's 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, but they still head to Craven Cottage seven points adrift of safety.

"Back-to-back wins for us could put us right back in the picture again," Redknapp said.

"Everyone has written us off but we are still right in there in my opinion.

"I am confident. When I am not confident I will be struggling to come into work in the morning."

Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week