London – Harry Redknapp sees himself as a modern, forward-thinking coach but there was more than a hint of the old-school on show on Monday as he said hard work and “running about” would rescue Queens Park Rangers from relegation.
The 65-year-old was parachuted into the west London club on Saturday following the sacking of Mark Hughes and is now tasked with helping them improve on a terrible start to the season that has left them bottom with four points from their opening 13 games.
Redknapp, who was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in June, has a reputation for getting the best out of players with a hands-on man-management approach to the game.
There is, he says, no magic wand he can wield to instantly improve the club's fortunes and only old-fashioned industry will ride to the rescue.
“We have to do better to have a chance of getting out of this mess,” he told a news conference on Monday.
“It is going to be full on for everybody, I need people who work. I learnt at school you work hard and run about, if they put in that effort we have a chance of surviving. If they don't I will find 11 players who do.
“The players are all upbeat. They have got to realise they are in this position as they have not really performed.
“They have got to perform better. Mark (Hughes) has been unfortunate to lose his job and the players have to take responsibility for their performances. They have to get us out of this. I feel there is enough ability to climb the table.”
Redknapp has gained a reputation for masterminding escape acts after saving Portsmouth from relegation in 2006 and helping Tottenham from bottom of the table to the Champions League within two seasons after joining the club in 2008.
Keeping QPR in the Premier League, however, would trump those two achievements.
“It's a tough challenge, but it is a job I'm very much looking forward to,” he said.
“I know the players and it shouldn't be too much of a problem to sort the team out.
“We mustn't kid ourselves, this is much tougher than those two jobs (Tottenham and Portsmouth) in my opinion, but we are optimistic we can pull it off.”
Redknapp, who was in the stands to watch their 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday, has agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
He was sacked by former club Tottenham in the close season despite leading them to a fourth place finish in the Premier League.
Since taking the reins at QPR, he has been linked in the media with a move for David Beckham, who is leaving Los Angeles Galaxy in December. He tried to sign the former England captain on a short-term basis at Tottenham.
“I got a lovely text from David – not talking about coming but wishing me the best,” he said. “He is a top professional but I have never discussed the chances of him coming.
“I have not discussed any players with the chairman at this moment. What happens in January is way off.” – Reuters