Redknapp: Rio leads by example
Published 15/08/2014 | 16:40
Rio Ferdinand does not need the captain's armband to spearhead QPR's Barclays Premier League survival fight, according to Harry Redknapp.
Clint Hill remains Rangers' official club skipper, but Ferdinand is favourite to lead the side on the field in the former Crystal Palace defender's absence.
The pairing of Ferdinand and Steven Caulker in QPR's new-look back three could limit Hill's starting chances this term. Redknapp said he will review the on-field captaincy on a weekly basis any time Hill does not secure a starting berth.
"I haven't really looked at a vice-captain, I'm not one that gets that bothered about it," said Redknapp ahead of Saturday's league opener against Hull.
"Making Rio captain, would it make him any different? Not really. He would talk and boss people just the same.
"I haven't spoken to anyone, I haven't spoken to Clint, but we'll probably take it as it comes each week, depending on who's in the team.
"It can change. Rio's had a fantastic impact, he's just class around the place.
"He just oozes class, he's a top player and you can't replace that. He's been there and done it all, he's won everything there is to win, so we're just delighted to have him here.
"He'll definitely be a big influence on Steven (Caulker), I think he'll be a big influence on all the players.
"They look at how he trains, how he works: every day he comes in, works hard, lives his life right, he's always at the front of what we're doing in training and he's in great condition.
"He's a model professional."
Hull boss Steve Bruce is determined not to set the bar too high for his side this season but is targeting an improvement on last term's 16th-place finish and a run to the FA Cup final and Europe.
He said: "We've done fantastically well over the last couple of years. We've never been here (in the Premier League) for two years so that is the challenge.
"In my experience the second season is always the most difficult because the expectation has risen a bit.
"We've brought in four or five players to strengthen the squad. The man thing is for the club to stay in the Premier League and that's what we've got to do.
"Everybody expects us to be better than we were last year and if we can manage it that would great."
Bruce expects a tough opener at Loftus Road against Redknapp's men who will be aiming to copy the Tigers' own survival masterplan in their first season back in the top flight.
And despite predictions the London outfit could struggle, the Hull boss is particularly wary of the threat posed by striker Loic Remy, provided the Rs are able to keep hold of him in the remainder of the transfer window.
"Harry has managed to hang onto Loic Remy which I believe is key for them," added Bruce. "He's a very good striker and no disrespect to QPR, but he is arguably the best player in the bottom half of the division with the talents he's got."