Monday 25 September 2017

Redknapp rejects QPR exit theories

Harry Redknapp has resigned as QPR manager
Harry Redknapp has resigned as QPR manager

Harry Redknapp insists he did not resign as QPR manager because of the club's lack of signings in the January transfer window.

Veteran boss Redknapp has quit as boss of the Barclays Premier League strugglers citing imminent knee replacement surgery as his reason.

And his first-team coach Glenn Hoddle, the former England manager, has also confirmed that he has left his position at Loftus Road following Redknapp's departure.

Redknapp made his decision on Tuesday morning, hours after Rangers had failed to land a number of targets on transfer deadline day and owner Tony Fernandes had tweeted there would be "no more cheque book".

But Redknapp, 67, has stressed he had not fallen out with Fernandes over the matter.

Redknapp told the Daily Mail: "I haven't got the hump. We haven't had a row. I knew some while ago that we were not going to be able to get much done in January.

"We had one real target on the last day, Emmanuel Adebayor, because we are short up front. But he was too much money. I accept that.

"There are no hard feelings on my part - I've not had a problem with Tony Fernandes in all my time there."

He added: "I know what people think - that I've been sacked, or stormed off because we couldn't get the players in.

"My son Jamie said that my timing has to be the worst in the world. When I look back on my career, it certainly isn't my strong point but I can't control what people think."

Head of football operations Les Ferdinand has taken temporary charge of the side and will be supported by Chris Ramsey while QPR seek a new manager.

Hoddle, brought in by Redknapp at the start of the season, has spoken of his surprise at developments as he also confirmed he would be leaving.

The 57-year-old, in a statement to Zapsportz.com, said: "I am a bit shocked and surprised, to tell you the truth. We all know football is a results-orientated businesss but I always felt that given a few more games, Harry could have turned it around down there at the bottom.

"It would have only taken a couple of good results to have achieved that as it is very tight down there.

"But that's football for you. I have enjoyed coming back into coaching and I thanked Harry for giving me that opportunity to tip my toe back into the coaching arena.

"I have enjoyed every minute. I wished him all the best and I do sincerely hope QPR can stay up. I would love the players to turn it around as I have enjoyed working with them - and hope I have improved them."

QPR are 19th in the Premier League with 19 points from 23 games but are just a point off 17th.

Redknapp failed to save the club from relegation in 2013 but led them back to the top flight at the first attempt.

They have failed to maintain that momentum this term and, having been told he needs replacements for both knees, Redknapp feels someone else should take the reins.

He said: "I'm struggling so badly now. I can't walk, I can barely stand and watch. I'm in pain all the time.

"I've been putting it off and putting it off but it has got to the stage where I cannot do the job.

"I went to bed thinking I would sleep on it, but then I couldn't sleep a wink.

"That's when I decided to call Tony. It must have been 5.30am. I just told him he needed someone who could properly coach and manage the team in the next 10 weeks.

"It's such an important time. They need someone who can give it everything."

Despite Redknapp's comments, there did appear differences between him and Fernandes as the reinforcements the manager had often said he needed did not arrive.

Fernandes tweeted: "No more cheque book. We have good players. Bought all the players manager asked for in summer. Our players not mercenaries. Good guys."

On Tuesday, Fernandes adopted a more gracious tone as he accepted Redknapp's resignation.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Harry for everything he has done for QPR during his time in charge," he said in a statement.

"We part on good terms and I would personally like to wish him all the best for the future."

Redknapp, who won the FA Cup in charge of Portsmouth and has also managed Bournemouth, West Ham and Southampton, will now take time out but does not think his career is over.

He said: "I still don't think I'm finished with football. When I've had the operations, I'll be looking for work again, I know that. I can't imagine my life without it. But right now, I've got to make my health the priority."

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