Sport Soccer

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Redknapp expects QPR to beat drop

Harry Redknapp's QPR have yet to win a league match this season
Harry Redknapp's QPR have yet to win a league match this season

Harry Redknapp remains confident QPR will avoid relegation this season but admits his side must urgently improve their form away from home.

Rangers have taken four points from their opening five Barclays Premier League games but are still winless on their travels after two 4-0 thumpings by Tottenham and Manchester United either side of a 1-0 loss at Burton in the Capital One Cup.

QPR face a tough trip on Saturday to high-flying Southampton, who sit second in the table after an excellent start to the campaign under new boss Ronald Koeman.

"We've played well at home, our home form has been decent," Redknapp said.

"I thought we played well against Hull in the first game, we had a good win against Sunderland and then we got a point against a good Stoke team - I think they'll be in the top half again this year.

"So that's encouraging but we have to take that away from home now, our two away performances haven't been good enough and we need to improve."

Redknapp added: "We have had two tough away games - we'll play worse teams than Man United and Tottenham away that's for sure.

"We'll be okay, it's going to be tough, it's going to be tight but I'm still confident we'll be okay come the end of the season."

Redknapp is short of midfield options this weekend with Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch both unavailable with hamstring injuries and Niko Kranjcar also doubtful after picking up a knock against Stoke.

There may be better news, however, regarding the fitness of Sandro who appeared to injure his knee while celebrating a goal in training.

The Brazilian has endured a series of knee problems in the past but the midfielder could be back for the trip to St Mary's.

"He told me that's not when he did it but I saw him and I thought that's when he did it when he slid on his knees celebrating," Redknapp said.

"It shouldn't happen too often anyway because he's not a goalscorer.

"I was worried when he first did it, you fear the worst, but it looks like he's okay so that's good."

Another bizarre off-the-field incident saw Rangers defender Steven Caulker wrongfully arrested for stealing cheese from a supermarket this week but Redknapp said he was in the dark over the issue.

Caulker looks set to start on Saturday and he will need to be at his best to contain a Saints side that has scored eight goals in their last three league matches.

"We're only five games in but at the moment they're looking the real deal," Redknapp said.

"It's been fantastic what they've done, amazing really.

"When they lost all those players in the summer I think people thought that was the end of Southampton and that they'd be on the slide but Ronald Koeman has done an amazing job there.

"They play some good football, they've got good players - good young players coming through again as usual."

Redknapp, who left Southampton to return to their bitter rivals Portsmouth in December 2005, added: "I always get a bit of grief down there.

"I think we went there and won last time and it was on my birthday so that was a good birthday present - let's hope we go and get a win there this time."

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