KASPARS Gorkss aims to make a fresh start at QPR after his starring role in Wednesday night's 1-0 win at Norwich.
Rangers overcame the 26th-minute sending off of defender Matt Connolly to secure a fine victory that lifted them back up to fourth in the table.
Captain Martin Rowlands netted the winner when he fired home a free-kick shortly after Connolly was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
And Gorkss, who came off the substitutes' bench when Connolly saw red, produced an outstanding display at the heart of the Rangers defence.
Gorkss' pre-season was ruined because of the wrangling over his transfer from Blackpool and having started the campaign well short of match fitness, he paid the price for a dismal display in the 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United and lost his place in the side.
But the Latvian proved prior to his move to W12 that he is a top-quality Championship centre-back and, having regained fitness and form in recent matches for his country, he seized the chance handed to him when Rangers were reduced to 10 men.
He was instrumental in helping Iain Dowie's side hang onto their lead and showed why the club were so keen to sign him in the summer.
And with Connolly's impending ban and Fitz Hall still recovering from a groin injury, Gorkss now has a real chance to establish himself as a key first-team player and the type of dominant defender QPR have desperately needed.
"I enjoyed that. I feel good and am very happy with that result," said Gorkss.
"I can 100 per cent say that I am much fitter now than I was for the Sheffield United game.
"Obviously my pre-season wasn't the best because of problems you know about, but now I feel great, feel I have a lot of energy and am hoping I can play more games.
"Of course I would like to play every game but we have a very strong team and very good defenders. When I get my chance I just want to use it."
He added: "Norwich made it tough for us but all the boys did really well. To play for almost 70 minutes a man down is a great effort.
"We knew we could win that game. The sending-off made it harder but the boys gave everything and we got the result we wanted."
Boss Dowie, who never doubted Gorkss would bounce back from a terrible opening to his Rs career, said: "Kaspars had a difficult start but he's come in and shown what he's all about. His lip is cut and bloodied, which shows his body on the line.
"I was delighted with the way we defended. The whole of the back four and all of the 10 players we had on the pitch were tremendous."
Gorkss suffered the cut to his lip while challenging former QPR man Jamie Cureton - and Damion Stewart had been to hospital with concussion before a ball had even been kicked at Carrow Road.
Stewart underwent a CT scan on Tuesday evening after colliding with youngster Josh Ford during what was supposed to be a light training session ahead of the match.
Dowie was initially advised not to select Stewart but has been pleased with the Jamaican's form and was keen for him to play, so he was included.
And it was a brilliant return to the starting line-up for Rowlands, who came in for Dani Parejo and stood out even on a night when every outfield Rangers player performed admirably.
As well as scoring the allimportant goal, Rowlands produced moments of real quality as well as a tremendous work ethic.
In the second half he was switched to the left flank, where he provided tireless defensive cover and closed down numerous crosses. It was an inspirational display.
"I like the smell in that dressing room - there's character in there," Dowie declared
"Our response to going a man down was terrific.
"It's a very pleasing result - much more pleasing than Sunday when we won 4-1 because this one was a real backs-to-the-wall team effort."
NORWICH C (0) 0 QPR (1) 1 Line-up: Cerny; Ramage, Stewart, Connolly, Delaney; Ledesma (Buzsaky 82), Mahon, Leigertwood, Rowlands, Cook (Gorkss 30); Blackstock (Agyemang 77). Subs not used: Camp, Parejo. Attendance: 24,249. GOAL: Rowlands (33).
MoM: Martin Rowlands