Ilias Chair says proving doubters wrong has been the key ingredient in propelling him into one of the Championship’s brightest stars.

The 22-year-old midfielder has been an influential figure for Mark Warburton’s side this season, making 32 league appearances as the Rs sit six points adrift of the play-off spots.

And while it’s currently lockdown not Loftus Road for the fledging talent, he believes defying adversity is what motivates him to succeed.

“I’ve always had to prove a point,” said Chair, who hails from Antwerp in Belgium.

“I have that mindset where I want people to write me off - write me off so I can prove you wrong and show you what I can do. That’s always the mentality I’ve had.

“The only thing I can think about is football, football, football. It’s why I’m missing it so much at the moment.

“You try to train well and I think for every football player, when you’re not starting you feel a bit hard done by and you can moan and search for excuses. 

“For me though, it’s more about accepting the decision and then whenever I do get the chance, I need to prove to the coaches why I deserve to be starting. 

“No matter if we’re winning or losing, I know I need to make an impact.”

Chair was enlisted to the Rangers ranks from Belgian side Lierse S.K. in 2017 and has developed into a popular figure in West London, netting the winner in his side’s victory over Derby County at the end of February.

Chair - who has represented Morocco Under-23s at international level and had a loan spell at Stevenage in 2019 - is spending the lockdown period in Belgium with his family but is chomping at the bit to return to London and hit the ground running.

The latest EFL update signalled its divisions are suspended indefinitely in light of the coronavirus outbreak, as players are left with no concrete start date for when football will resume.

Impatience is intensifying for Chair, though, who is targeting a long and prosperous career in the sport once the current crisis clears.

“I know we’re professionals and we have to make sure we don’t get injured but we just want to play as long as possible,” he added.

“For me it’s always just been about having fun and doing what I love. It’s about wanting the ball around your feet and playing with a smile on your face - that’s all.”