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Samba vows to stop van Persie

Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba insists he will stop Robin van Persie and prove his worth to his new club.

Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba insists he will stop Robin van Persie and prove his worth to his new club.

The 28-year-old joined the relegation-threatened QPR on the final day of the January transfer window in a 14.5-million euro move from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

Samba has played two games for the club since his arrival and the centre-back is unfazed by the prospect of meeting the English Premier League’s top goalscorer van Persie when they face Manchester United on Saturday.

“Van Persie is an excellent player but I’ve been working on my fitness and I’m really much fitter than I was for the last game at Swansea, so it will be more difficult to beat me,” Samba told The Sun.

“He is on fire but I am positive I can have a good game against him, although it is not only him we have to stop because United have a lot of top players.

“They will win the Premier League this year but they are coming to QPR and we need the points more.

“When you play against top teams, you need to be on top of your game. We have everyone pointing in the same direction and we need to put that into practice out on the pitch.”

QPR are four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table, with just two wins from 26 games.

Samba left Blackburn 12 months ago when they were in a relegation battle, and while then-manager Steve Kean was unable to stop the club dropping into the Championship, the defender insists he can use his experience to help QPR.

He said: “I’ve been bought for a reason — because QPR believe I can make a difference.

“I certainly believed I could lead the team. I don’t know if it will be enough but, one thing is for sure, I will do my best to help the team.

“I don’t think here is really similar to what happened at Blackburn. Emotionally, it’s very different, too. But, of course, when you get some experience you know how to handle it better. And that’s something I can help with.

“When you know what’s going on, sometimes you see how a player can react and you can say, ‘Guys, just keep calm and let’s talk about what’s gone wrong’.”

Sat 23 February, 2013
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