QPR Report Twitter Feed

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ex-QPR's Kevin Gallen Happy He Joined MK Dons

BBC/Pete Oliver - Dons switch pays off for Gallen

Kevin Gallen could have been playing Championship football this season.

Instead, he joined the revolution at MK Dons and has been rewarded with only the second promotion of his career.

Gallen had the chance to sign for Plymouth Argyle last summer after ending the 2006/07 season on loan with the Pilgrims under his former manager at Queens Park Rangers, Ian Holloway.

But both have since taken different paths with Gallen's leading him to the top of League Two with the Dons.

"I have played at a number of different clubs but to get promoted, no matter what league it's in, is fantastic and I joined MK Dons for that reason," the striker told BBC Sport.

"I thought they had a great chance of getting promoted. I was going to go to Plymouth but I changed my mind at the 11th-hour and I have come here and got promoted so it was a good decision.

"I met the chairman [Pete Winkelman] before I signed. I had heard about the new stadium but once I got to the ground and saw it I was blown away. It's a great place to play every other Saturday.

The manager definitely wants us to win the league and he has been instilling that in us - Kevin Gallen

"His enthusiasm and the fact that the manager was Paul Ince were big factors in me coming."

The Dons had just lost in the League Two play-offs under Martin Allen when Gallen was persuaded to join a club looking to go one step further following the appointment of Ince and the opening of their new Stadium:mk.

It has proved a winning combination with the club, which was created from the former Wimbledon and relocated to Milton Keynes in 2003, clinching promotion for the first time in its current incarnation with two games to spare.

Finishing top and holding off the challenge of Peterborough United is now the target.

"We want to win the league," Gallen added.

"We have to match Peterborough's result on Saturday and then we will be champions so we have got a good chance of doing it.

"The manager definitely wants us to win the league and he has been instilling that in us.

"He wants us to go up as champions. He says we deserve it because we are the best team and hopefully we will prove that."

We have worked our behinds off right 'til the end and we have got our rewards
Kevin Gallen

Winning the title would add the gloss to a memorable season and give the Dons a notable double after they lifted the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in March to fulfil another ambition for Gallen.

"I played at the old Wembley for the [England] Under-15s but when the new one was opened I didn't think there was a much of a chance. I thought that might have passed me by.

"To play for the first time at the new Wembley was a great feeling," said the former QPR, Huddersfield and Barnsley frontman.

The Dons made the most of their Wembley experience but did not let it deflect them from their major goal.

"We didn't think about Wembley until three days before the game and then after it won our next two matches. We were always focussed on promotion," said Gallen.

"It's great that all our hard work through the season has paid off. We have worked our behinds off right 'til the end and we have got our rewards."

The league table reflects that and demonstrates the consistency Ince's side has shown with a mix of players inherited and signed by the former England international.

Gallen falls into the latter category and as well as his share of eight league goals has also lent crucial guile and experience, along with former Scotland international midfielder Colin Cameron, who is three years his senior at 35.

Gallen explained: "We try and help. Colin Cameron is a good player and he trains well. The younger lads can maybe see that me and Colin Cameron train to the maximum every day and they think if they are doing it, we should be doing it.

"I also give the lads bits of advice. I used to get that when I was a young lad from Ray Wilkins and Les Ferdinand. I had people like that to look up to and get advice from and I certainly appreciated it."

Gallen heeded it well as a near century of goals in two spells with QPR, making him the London club's sixth highest all-time goalscorer, proved.

Since the Dons clinched promotion at Stockport, twice coming from behind against the promotion challengers in a style which Gallen believes epitomised the togetherness which has been a big factor behind the team's success, he has also been offering further words of wisdom.

"I have said to the lads 'enjoy the good times because bad times might be just round the corner'," he added.

Not that Gallen - who despite his prolific career had previously tasted promotion only once before with QPR in 2004 - expects the Dons' success story to end here.

"I think we have got a good chance of doing well again next year. The crowds are getting bigger. We took 33,000 to Wembley which shows that there is support to tap into and the league crowd have doubled.

"Next year we will be playing bigger and better teams which should mean even bigger crowds and I think in the next 10 years MK Dons can be a force in English football.

"I am not talking about the Champions League or anything like that, but the club is at least set up for the Championship." BBC

Blog Archive