Rio Ferdinand has been hard done by, according to QPR team-mate Nedum Onuoha.
Onuoha has watched the former Manchester United defender behind the scenes and remains baffled why his pal only has 11 Premier League appearances to his credit.
The ex-England star suffered on the opening day of the season as Hoops lost 1-0 at home to Hull, and was soon reduced to a role on the Rangers periphery.
However, Onuoha is privy to Ferdinand’s training and exemplary attitude, and thinks he would have played more at a different club.
Onuoha gears up to face Ferdinand’s old club West Ham tomorrow, amazed at how his fellow defender has kept his cool week after week when shunted to the sidelines.
“You can’t select yourself; all you can do is try to get back - but the decision falls with the manager,” Onuoha said.
“It’s been hard on Rio, because he’s deserved to play based on the way he’s been in training, and in a 25-man squad, there are more people unhappy than happy.”
Ferdinand has been an important figure in the back room despite the club’s travails and lifted Onuoha many times simply by accepting his fate with dignity.
“He’s still training as hard as everyone else, but is just not being selected,” Onuoha added.
“He’s never grumbled, so it’s affected no one in a negative way - and there has been moments when he could have done. Some would have done, and I find that really impressive.
“Not complaining in life is hard, and when you’re not playing it’s extra hard. Why should I complain when he’s not?”
Onuoha revealed Rs should be back to a full complement barring Ferdinand against Hammers, ironically, who may be sidelined for the rest of the season and it also appears Clint Hill’s wife has just given birth.
The defender remembered back to a lack-lustre 2-0 defeat at West Ham in October. It started badly with an own goal from the man himself and got steadily worse - but not the worst, said the defender.
“It wasn’t a great performance, but there has been other times when we’ve been two, three and 4-0 down.
“I know it was October, but it seems like a long time ago, even maybe another season.”
Onuoha is not buying the idea Hammers will have less bang because their season is all but over.
In fact, after a week when Leicester hit stride again, Onuoha believes any result against any opponent, home or away, over the last five games is not worth a bet.
He added: “You’re playing a (West Ham) side who are relaxed and can express themselves. They’ve not got many results recently, so you’re always at risk of the club bouncing back.
“Football on paper is not even worth looking at - especially at this time of the year. It’s ridiculous. I hope you guys (media) enjoy it - because we certainly won’t.”
Keep up to date with all the build-up, matchday and post-game reaction to QPR v West Ham right here on getwestlondon