Wheeler relishing Portsmouth chance after QPR frustration

QPR and former Exeter City winger David Wheeler has signed for Pompey on loan. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images
QPR and former Exeter City winger David Wheeler has signed for Pompey on loan. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images
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David Wheeler is relishing Pompey first-team football after Loftus Road frustration.

The 27-year-old featured just nine times during his maiden QPR season following a big-money switch from Exeter.

An ankle injury forced him out of the second half of the Championship club’s campaign, sidelining him for competitive fixtures in 2018.

The QPR manager who recruited Wheeler, Ian Holloway, departed in May, with Steve McClaren now at the helm.

Wheeler quickly recognised a loan spell was his best chance of regular first-team involvement this season.

And the forward, whose 21 goals in 2016-17 earned him the Loftus Road switch, is looking forward to impressing with Pompey following today's move.

He told The News: ‘I was fit for the first half of the season and then in January my ankle kept swelling up.

‘I had to have bits of bone taken out of my ankle, they were floating around. It was wear and tear, there had been no tackle.

‘It coincided with me training harder to get back into the team, it was just one of those things really.

‘I came back pre-season and got through that, but was I probably third choice in my position so assessed the situation.

‘I’ve never enjoyed just being a bit-part player, someone in the background, I don’t think that’s good for anyone really.

‘It’s positive and best for all concerned if players are playing, that essentially is what they are paid to do. Now I can try to do that at Pompey.’

Wheeler scored 39 goals in 171 appearances for Exeter before his August 2017 departure.

A year later he is on the move again, albeit this time on a season-long loan.

He added: ‘I’ve come from playing week in, week out and playing 90 minutes (at Exeter) to last season not getting too much football. The main focus for me now is to get games.

‘I’ve featured for QPR in pre-season, a few 45 minutes, a few 30 minutes, while there was a 70-minutes, here and there.

‘I’ve played right-back a little bit as well. I just want to play games.’