Monday 20 November 2017

Redknapp outlines mammoth task for QPR survival

Harry Redknapp celebrates QPR win at Southampton earlier this month
Harry Redknapp celebrates QPR win at Southampton earlier this month

Matt Somerford

HARRY Redknapp has mapped out the size of the task QPR face to avoid the drop - and it involves almost doubling their points tally.

Rangers head into the final 10 games of the season four points from safety and last in a Barclays Premier League table they have been looking up at for almost the entire campaign.


Victory at Southampton last weekend revived hopes of a great escape but it was just their third success in 28 league games.


Redknapp believes his side will have to win at least another five, and pick up a couple of draws along the way, if they are to have any chance of beating the drop.


That would appear a tall task for a side that have so far accumulated just 20 points and Redknapp admitted even his target of 37 points might not be enough.


"We need a run of wins. We need another five wins at least I think," Redknapp said ahead of Sunderland's visit to Loftus Road tomorrow.


"We need to win half our games and get a draw or two and get to 37 points.


"I would take 37 points now and walk away. I'd take my chances.


"Whether it is going to be enough I'm not sure but if someone said you can have 37 points I think you'd have to be a fool not to take it.


"That's where we are at the moment. You just have to keep going and keep trying to pick up results."


In a week QPR's finances have revealed the club's wages have ballooned in size since their return to the Premier League two years ago, Redknapp's forecast has the potential to start alarm bells ringing at Loftus Road.


QPR released accounts this week that showed that their wage bill had doubled to £56million during their first season back in the Premier League last term.


Since then QPR twice broke their transfer record in January by bringing in Loic Remy and Christopher Samba in a bid to avoid the drop.


The Premier League's newly-negotiated TV rights deal kicks in from next season - with West Ham revealing this week they expect the deal to be worth £15-£20million per season - to add to the importance of remaining in the top-flight.


QPR have been criticised for over-spending in their quest to ensure they remain, however, Redknapp is certain the club's owners know what they are doing.


"It's important obviously (to stay up)," he said.


"If the debts are high the chairman and the board must understand that. They're not silly men they're successful business men, they know what they're doing so I'll leave it to them. It's their business."


Redknapp only arrived at Loftus Road early on this season - meaning the newly-released figures to not reflect his time in charge - and he claimed players' wages were not something he has dealt with in any case.


Instead, Redknapp believes the best way for him to try and safeguard the club's finances is by sticking to his job and masterminding a survival bid.


"When you are a football manager we are not involved in that side of the business," he said.


"I've said it a million times. That's done at a different level to what we work. We work with the team and on the pitch.


"The financial side of it I don't know. Those results were from before I came here.


"But I've always felt we'll stay up. Nothing has changed my opinion. I still feel the same way.


"The players have been bright this week in training on the back of that Southampton result. We're ready to go and tomorrow is a massive game for us."


Redknapp believes a win over Sunderland could even suck the Black Cats into a relegation fight they are, at present, six points clear of in 14th.


Redknapp has warned he expects more teams to be drawn into the battle at the foot of the table - especially if his side can spark a winning run.


"Team who are only seven or eight points above us - it can all change so quickly," said Redknapp, who was set to decide on the fitness of injured duo Julio Cesar and Bobby Zamora at training today.


"Seven or eight points can evaporate very quickly with a couple of wins and a couple of losses.


"We need back-to-back wins - that's something we've never done.


"It's about time we did that."

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