x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Relegation in Harry Redknapp's thoughts

Harry Redknapp says the only thing he can offer potential transfer targets to QPR is the challenge of keeping the team in the Premier League.

Harry Redknapp understands it will take a dramatic turn of fortunes for Queens Park Rangers to avoid relegation.
Harry Redknapp understands it will take a dramatic turn of fortunes for Queens Park Rangers to avoid relegation.

 

Harry Redknapp says all he can offer Queens Park Rangers' transfer targets is the potential satisfaction of rescuing the club from a seemingly hopeless position.

Rangers are bottom of the Premier League and are hoping to avoid a third successive defeat when they host Liverpool on Sunday.

Redknapp says the club must sign new players in next month's transfer window if they are to survive in the top flight with Demba Ba, Brede Hangeland and Robbie Keane reported to interest the QPR boss.

But the 65 year old says his only sales pitch during negotiations will be to convince any new arrivals they could be part of something special.

"I tell players, 'Look, there are mugs around like me. Come and have a challenge, please. Come and do something'.

"If we keep this team up now we'll have had a fantastic end of the season," he says.

"I walked on that pitch at Wigan as Portsmouth manager in 2006 when we had escaped relegation and it was the best day ever.

"It was fantastic and I want to do the same at QPR. That's my dream - all I think about at night is trying to keep this team up. I'd love it so much if we kept QPR up. It has consumed my whole life, it's all I want. It gets me up, it gets me down.

"I've been sitting at home over Christmas being no fun to anybody and I was thinking, 'Should I put myself in this position, should I put my family in this situation again?'

"But you do as you want to have a go and if I could be a part of the team that can pull it off that would be fantastic.

"That is the message I want to send to any player: 'Come and we'll have a great time if we can turn it round - let's see if we can'."

Redknapp has steered Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur away from relegation in the past and knows QPR require a major change in fortunes if they are to be added to his success stories.

"When you're in the bottom four and cut adrift like we were then it's so difficult," he says. "We need a run of games from where we are now. We need to show top six or seven form to get out of it.

"We are still in there and while there's hope we have to keep going and believing.

"I still believe we can do it."

QPR's survival bid received a boost with Adel Taarabt's omission from Morocco's squad for the African Nations Cup.

The 23 year old, who scored both goals against Fulham two weeks ago in the club's only league victory this season, is now available for matches against West Ham United, Norwich City, Manchester City and Swansea City.

The Morocco coach Rachid Taoussi says the reason he overlooked Taarabt is because he refused to meet him after travelling to London to see the playmaker.

"The first I knew about it was when I was driving in and heard on the radio that he hasn't been selected and I thought, 'Oh, that's good'," says Redknapp, who spoke in glowing terms of Luis Suarez, the Uruguay striker who will spearhead Liverpool's assault on Loftus Road.

"The man is fantastic, an unbelievable player," he says.

"There are a lot of people who don't like Suarez, but as a player he is right up there."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE