x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Redknapp says run proves QPR can find league safety

Derry believes Hughes brought in too many players in the summer.

Adel Taarabt scored twice against Fulham for QPR in his sides first win of the season last weekend.
Adel Taarabt scored twice against Fulham for QPR in his sides first win of the season last weekend.

It is amazing what a difference a win makes. A week ago, Queens Park Rangers looked finished. They had set a record for games without a victory at the start of the Premier League season and the arrival of Harry Redknapp had yielded just three draws.

If they were hoping to gain impetus from a new manager - which statisticians say may be a myth anyway - they did not seem to be getting much. But after beating Fulham last week, QPR are suddenly off the bottom of the league, and "three draws in a row" has become a far more palatable "unbeaten in four games under Redknapp".

QPR are still five points from safety (and Southampton, who are fourth bottom, have a game in hand), but as Redknapp has pointed out, QPR have picked up six points in four games under him and if they can keep up that rate they will collect a further 31 points this season, and 41 points would almost certainly be enough to see them safe.

The problem is that the teams they have played so far under Redknapp are Sunderland, Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Fulham, all in the bottom eight.

He could hardly have hoped for a better run of fixtures, and that continues today with a game at Newcastle United, who lie 15th having won just one of their last 11 games. With a fading West Bromwich Albion and an inconsistent Liverpool next up, it is not inconceivable that QPR could be out of the relegation zone by the end of the year.

Redknapp may not be the most sophisticated tactician and his apparent inability to arrest the flow of a game that is going against him may preclude him from ever managing a club of greater status than Tottenham Hotspur, but he does have a gift for keeping the game simple and generating a sense of togetherness. That is just what QPR need.

"The teams that got promoted in the same year as us, Swansea and Norwich, they seem to have done things a lot slower than what we have at QPR - rightly or wrongly," said the midfielder Shaun Derry.

"Mark Hughes, who was our manager in the close season, thought we should be bringing in a number of players to enhance our chances of progressing. It just didn't work out that way. It takes time to mould a team, it really does. My own opinion is things were done just too quickly."

That led to confusion: too many different personalities all trying to adapt at the same time. Against Fulham, Redknapp started with just one player who did not play in the Premier League last season, as though trying to create the conditions of gradual integration that should have existed in the summer.


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