Players to blame for QPR plight: Redknapp
LONDON (AFP) –
Harry Redknapp is set to write a whole new chapter in his colourful career after being confirmed as new Queens Park Rangers manager on Saturday.
And the controversial former Tottenham boss immediately rounded on the expensively-assembled squad he has inherited and put the blame for the club’s current plight squarely on their shoulders.
Redknapp, 65, was appointed less than 24 hours after Mark Hughes was sacked with Rangers languishing at the foot of the Premier League table without a win in 12 games this season.
But he refused to blame his predecessor for the problems and told the squad they had to shape up.
“The players have not performed to their potential,” he told Sky Sports News.
“They had a good manager in Mark Hughes but for whatever reason it did not work out. We now have to produce in the last two thirds of the season to try and get out of trouble.”
He added: “The players have to be at it. The buck stops with them. I know Mark lost his job, but it`s down to the players. He could only do what he could do. The players have not performed to their potential.
“There are some good players here and they really need to step up and start performing. They are man enough to know they`re to blame for the position we are in.”
Redknapp signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Loftus Road and he will get an early indication of the size of the task ahead of him when QPR take on Manchester United at Old Trafford later Saturday.
He had earlier told the club’s official website: “When I spoke to the shareholders and they told me about their plans I knew this was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
Hughes had been in charge for only 10 months and despite managing to stave off relegation on the final day of last season and spending freely in the summer, the club have struggled this year and are currently four points adrift at the bottom of the table.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes said: “Harry was our number one target, the unanimous choice of the board and we’re delighted we’ve been able to attract him to the club.
“He has a proven track record in the Premier League and has all the characteristics we were looking for to get us out of the current situation we find ourselves in.
“His man-management skills are second to none and we are confident he is the right man to lead us away from the bottom of the table.”
The QPR job is the latest in what has been a varied and colourful managerial career, which began at Bournemouth, progressed to West Ham, took in two stints at Portsmouth and on to Tottenham.
In between his spells at Portsmouth, he took charge of their bitter south-coast rivals Southampton, with whom he experienced his only taste of relegation before walking out on the club.
Rangers will doubtless be hoping that if history is to repeat itself it will be in the shape of the turnaround he engineered at Spurs after taking over when they were bottom of the table and guiding them to a mid-table finish, rather being a rerun of his Southampton debacle.
Redknapp recently spent some time back at Bournemouth on a consultancy basis and last week was linked to the job of Ukraine national coach.
But he is now back on stage he relishes most and will be in the dugout for the first time against Sunderland on Tuesday, although whether he can keep QPR in the Premier League will depend on his being able to lift a talented group of players who had increasingly lost their way under Hughes.