Rob Kiernan looks ahead to 'biggest game of career' at Loftus Road.
Latics defender Rob Kiernan says Monday’s Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Championship semi-final second leg tie with Queens Park Rangers will be the biggest game of his career to date.
The 23-year-old has experienced a remarkable turnaround in his career over the past six months with Latics boss Uwe Rosler recalling him from a loan spell at Southend United on his arrival at the DW Stadium in December before handing him his first-team debut on the turn of the calendar year.
And Kiernan says Latics are confident travelling down to Loftus Road all-square for both the club as a whole, and him personally.
“It’ll be the biggest game of my career,” Kiernan said. “I feel confident, I don’t feel nervous; it’s all about going there and doing the job.
“It [the first leg] was a cagey game, QPR sat back and just watched the game carefully but we were happy to go to Loftus Road level so we can have a good crack at them there.
“We got a clean sheet and we had chances to win it but we can’t be too disappointed we didn’t win it.
“We kept them quite quiet and hopefully we’ll do the same there, we know they’ve got a threat but we don’t worry about them too much because we’ve got firepower as well.”
Kiernan was partnered in central defence by Latics’ two leaders, Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell, and the former Watford man says the experience and confidence of the pair has rubbed off immensely on him.
“I feel really good at the moment and I’m just enjoying playing,” he explained.
“They [Boyce and Caldwell] have been top draw with me, they’ve helped me immensely and I hope when I have their age and experience that I can help younger players in the way they’ve helped me.
“It’s the reassurance they give me more than anything, they let me know I’m doing well and when you hear them saying that, it makes you feel comfortable.”
And, for a final line on Monday’s fixture, Kiernan joked he hopes it doesn’t go all the way but the squad is full of confidence ahead of the crunch match with Harry Redknapp’s side.
“I hope it doesn’t go all the way to extra time – I could do without that!” Kiernan added.
“In all seriousness, though, I’m confident and I think we can do it.”