QPR defender Alex Baptiste admits he thought he was going to sign for Preston over the summer after enjoying a loan spell at the club last season.

The 31-year-old spent last term at Deepdale but says when the call came in from Ian Holloway, who managed him at Blackpool, moving to QPR was an easy decision.

Speaking to GetWestLondon, he said: “I didn’t get much of a chance at Middlesbrough and I really enjoyed my time at Preston and before the start of the season thought I’d be signing there if I’m completely honest.

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“But Simon Grayson left and my old manager from Blackpool was here so it was a no-brainer. I’ve worked under the gaffer for quite a few years before I signed here and I know what he’s like and I know what he wants so it was a good move.

“I’d had my best time of my career with Ollie so when he rang me and said he wanted to take me I was definitely set on coming to QPR and playing for him.”

Preston sit just four points above QPR in the Championship this season, and Baptiste is backing his former club to mount a promotion push.

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He said: “I’ve said it all along, I think Preston will be in and around the play-offs. Having been there last year I’ve seen the qualities that they have and they’re a very good side. At home they’re fantastic and it’ll be a really tough game.

“It’s a squad mentality up there, they’ll work their socks off for each other and have really good players so it’ll be tough.

“Jordan (Hugill) was linked with a lot of clubs over the summer, and you look at the players and there’s a lot of quality that can hurt you. They’re a squad of good players and it should be interesting to face up to them.”