Remy hopes it's not game over for QPR
Loic Remy has revealed how a session of video game Fifa 2012 helped convince him to make the move to Queens Park Rangers.
The France international will make his debut for the Premier League's bottom club at West Ham United on Saturday after completing a switch from Marseille for a fee believed to be around £8 million.
Remy, who was also a target for Newcastle United, has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the Loftus Road club and claims that after four hours of negotiations with Rangers owner Tony Fernandes, the deal was clinched when talks became less formal.
"It was a special moment that followed our chat about QPR," he said. "We just played a game of Fifa – it was good and showed to me what a good person Tony is.
"He showed his human side to me as an owner of the club I wanted to join. It was a special moment for us both."
Rangers have shown much more resolve in recent weeks and face West Ham after securing four points from their last two Premier League games, against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
As impressive as those results were, manager Harry Redknapp insisted his side needed more fire-power if they were to climb towards safety and the arrival of Remy will strengthen their forward options, particularly as Djibril Cisse appears poised to leave the club this month.
The midweek FA Cup victory at West Bromwich Albion has also lifted the mood at the club but with Rangers lying five points from safety, they need to maintain their recent upturn.
Redknapp is aiming to bring in more new faces, with the manager hoping to convince West Brom's Peter Odemwingie and Rennes' Yann M'Vila to follow Remy and commit themselves to the club's battle against relegation.
"We're getting the best out of the team at the minute," Redknapp said. "There are areas that I'd like to improve on, but I can't fault the effort of the players.
"The league is the most important thing. That is the key for us. You've got to try and stay up. The rewards for doing so are so big.
"But winning is a good habit. We've won twice away from home now after not doing so for over a year."
West Ham face their London rivals still smarting from the midweek FA Cup defeat at Manchester United, in which manager Sam Allardyce felt his side were denied a clear penalty.
The Hammers remain mid-table, seven points clear of the bottom three, but their form has slipped in recent weeks and they have collected just one win in their last six league games.
Like Redknapp, Allardyce is keen to strengthen his squad this month and after losing James Collins, Joey O'Brien, and George McCartney to injury, the West Ham manager is particularly eager to bring in defensive cover.
At Old Trafford, Allardyce was forced to employ midfielder Alou Diarra in a back five and start with youngsters Jordan Spence and Danny Potts either side of the centre-backs.
"Alou Diarra did a fantastic job to help on our defensive side, because in terms of player availability, we only had Winston Reid, James Tomkins and Guy Demel who were experienced defenders," he said.
"But we want to improve the squad and we want to get our injured players back as soon as we possibly can."
Despite the defeat, Allardyce said there were positive signs.
"We need to keep our performance at this level," he said.
"We had this level at Upton Park and nearly beat them there and we had a fantastic level of performance on Wednesday, but what I cannot accept was the level of performance we produced (in the 3-0 loss) against Sunderland.
"We cannot have anything other than this on Saturday when we face QPR."