It is an experience that has given him a sense of perspective. Instead of looking at QPR as being in a moment of crisis, he is instead focusing on the possibilities. His return to the field has coincided with the club’s first FA Cup run to the fifth round since 1997. A home draw against Premier League overachievers Watford is exactly what QPR needed, Hall says.
“It’s been 22 years, I think it gets rid of that unwanted record. The main thing is for the fans, getting to the fifth round of the FA Cup is a game that they can enjoy, Watford at home, a Premier League team.
“Especially with where our league form has been, that’s a big result to win in the FA Cup. It gives us another big game, and another chance to progress and gets us away from the league action.
“It’s the quarter-finals next if we win, that’s a hell of a statement if we get through, especially because of the previous years where we’ve not done well at all.”
He speaks like a man without the usual pressures of professional footballers, almost like someone working on borrowed time. He jokes about the other operation he undertook during his time off injured – a hair transplant – and says that despite stick from his team-mates he may have started a trend in the QPR dressing room. A weight no doubt has been lifted from the 27-year-old, his confidence restored, and not even being on a losing side can ruin it.
“I’ve taken positives, I started the last three games in a week, the last time I did that must have been nearly two years ago now, that is massive. A couple of the results haven’t been great but that will change, I’m confident of that.”