Angel Rangel: QPR full-back vows to show Swansea fans respect

Angel Rangel clashes with Swansea City players during QPR's 4-0 Championship win
Angel Rangel voices his opinion during QPR's 4-0 Championship win against Swansea in April 2019

Angel Rangel is pledging to show his respect for Swansea City's fans when they go to Queens Park Rangers.

Rangel was involved in a spat with some away supporters during Swansea's 4-0 defeat at QPR in April.

But the Swans legend, 36, is adamant there will be no repeat when Steve Cooper's team face Rangers in the Championship on Wednesday.

"I am going to respect the Swans fans," Rangel told BBC Sport Wales.

"I am going to give them a wave. They deserve it for everything they have done for me over the years.

"It's always special to play against Swansea - I love the club. They were great to me for so long.

"It will be good to see some old faces but obviously the aim is to win the game."

Rangel established himself as a fans' favourite during 11 years at Swansea, where he won two promotions as well as the League Cup.

The right-back signed for QPR after being released by the Swans in 2018.

He apologised in the aftermath of Swansea's defeat in west London in April, when he was criticised for gesturing towards the away end.

Rangel and his family walk out at the Liberty Stadium
Angel Rangel, pictured with his family, and Leon Britton both received a farewell from Swansea in their last Premier League match against Stoke City in May 2018

Rangel had been angered after receiving a number of messages from Swans fans suggesting he would not be able to cope with winger Dan James, who has since joined Manchester United.

"In life you have to learn from mistakes," Rangel added.

"I got a bit fired up that week, a bit upset about some messages.

"I should have ignored it and I didn't. I did apologise and I will say again, I have no problem with the fans and I will give them the respect they deserve whatever the result."

Though he silenced James in the spring, Rangel feels the loss of the Wales winger plus striker Oli McBurnie were heavy blows for Swansea going into the 2019-20 campaign.

But Cooper's team have started the season brightly, and Rangel believes his old club can have another positive year after last term's post-Premier League rebuilding job.

"Sometimes you can see without the biggest budget you can do good things," the Spaniard said.

"Last season that was the case for Swansea and I think they might do it again this season.

"When you lose a manager that did so well and you lose some important players, there is always doubt in people's minds.

"But it seems like the recruitment has been good and they have signed some important players, and the new manager has had a positive start."

Returning Swansea strikers

Rangel has also noted the return of two of his former team-mates following spells away from the Liberty Stadium on loan.

Andre Ayew and Borja have both made positive starts to the season and, assuming they remain at the club beyond the summer transfer window, could be key figures for Cooper.

"I didn't expect Andre to be there, but he is there and he is scoring goals," Rangel said.

"It's in his DNA to score goals and his work-rate in the last third is really good. He could be the one to replace the goals of Oli McBurnie.

"You also have Borja. His first spell at the club wasn't great but he has started the season well, so there are goals in the team."

Angel Rangel
Angel Rangel, left, joined QPR in August 2018 after 11 years at Swansea

Another player Rangel believes will be influential is his former team-mate Jake Bidwell, who signed for Swansea in the summer after leaving QPR.

"I was asked by Swansea what kind of player he is and I gave a good report," Rangel revealed.

"Jake was at Brentford and got promoted playing good football - he knows that type of football - and he was captain material for us.

"He has played a lot of games in the EFL. For me it was no-brainer."

Rangel has started QPR's three league matches under new boss Mark Warburton this season having signed a new one-year deal in the summer.

He hopes to play on for a couple more years at least, but admits he is at a stage in his career where he is taking it "season by season".

"It never gets easier, I am not going to lie," Rangel said.

"But I am doing what I have always done - being a professional. Rest time is important, nutrition, a lot of fluids, recovery, using ice baths.

"The manager and physios know that at my age, I need to be modified in training. They look after me.

"I had an injury last season that kept me out three months. That was a blow. But I hope this year I can stay fit and play more than the 22 games I had last season."