Gorkss hopes for good reception

KASPARS Gorkss is desperate to face his old club tonight but he has no idea if he'll be in the QPR squad, never mind the starting 11.

Gorkss will meet with his team-mates for the first time since his protracted departure to QPR in the summer.

But life at Rangers hasn't been as idyllic as he'd have liked.

Gorkss was dropped after a dodgy start and has so far been unable to fight his way back in.

He wasn't even in the 16 for Saturday's home defeat at the hands of Derby.

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The Latvian feels the length of time it took to get him from Blackpool to QPR didn't help.

Because of a row between the two clubs, his 250,000 move took the entire pre-season to complete.

"It didn't help that I missed most of the pre-season games, so I guess my pre-season began with the start of the league season," said Gorkss.

"But I feel much better now fitness-wise and hopefully I can get in the team."

Whether Gorkss is involved tonight or not, he wishes nothing but the best to his former club.

"I can't say that I'm surprised with the way they've started," added the 26-year-old, who scored for Blackpool against Rangers at Loftus Road last season.

"Some people were talking about Blackpool as a team that's going to go down this year.

"But they got 13 new players and it helps Blackpool that everyone was talking about them like that. It's less pressure on them, that makes it easier to play, and I think they will stay up again.

"Last season Blackpool played much better away to strong teams than they did at home to weaker sides.

"Of course when Blackpool play us I'm not on their side, but I wish them well after that and hope to see them get more wins.

"I have good memories of the club, they're a great bunch of lads and I keep in touch with a lot of them.

"I think it's going to be a friendly atmosphere as far as my old team-mates are concerned, that's for sure.

"The Blackpool fans I'm not too sure about, but I hope they'll still be good to me.

"But I want to win. It's a game that is massively important to the club and it is winnable."

Simon Grayson hopes otherwise, though he is thankful to Gorkss for what the centre half did for Blackpool.

"It will be nice to see Kaspars," said the manager. "Whether he actually plays or not remains to be seen but he did very well for us.

"However, I brought players in during the summer who I think have done equally well and it won't be about Kaspars – it's Blackpool versus QPR."

Ben Burgess lived close to Gorkss in St Annes and he too is keen to seeing his old pal, even if it could mean the odd bruise or two.

"I'm especially looking forward to playing against Kaspars. He kicked me enough times in training and I'm sure it won't be any different during the game," said Burgess, who scored both home and away against Rangers last season.

"I think he's an excellent defender. That's why QPR and a lot of other teams wanted him and that is why he is getting a lot of money and probably lives in a house with a swimming pool!

"But he deserves every penny that he gets because he is a good player.

"He has worked hard. He had bad times at Blackpool when he wasn't involved but he showed last season what a good player he is, both in defence and attack."