London – Harry Redknapp admitted Queens Park Rangers's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League now look bleak after their failure to beat Wigan at home.
The manager had set his side a target of five wins in seven games before Sunday's meeting with their fellow relegation strugglers but with Rangers still seven points adrift of safety, Redknapp concedes the task may now be beyond them
“It's going to be hard,” he said. “If we had come off with three points with ten men it would have given us a massive boost, a massive lift and you'd have thought we could still win four games. I would have done.”
Redknapp conceded his side had fallen short, claiming that reinforcements brought in during the January transfer window had been unable to make up for a dismal first half of the season.
The manager said: “The players that have come in have done great. Loic Remy is probably our leading scorer and he has only started seven games. You need quality players. Andros Townsend has come on loan and made a massive difference to the team. Jermaine Jenas has done excellent.
“Remy has scored great goals. Our leading scorer had only got four before then, that has been the problem all year. No one to score. Now we look like we are going to score. The window came a bit late for us.”
Remy struck his fifth goal since arriving from Marseille five minutes from time after Rangers had survived the 20th minute dismissal of Bobby Zamora for a head-high challenge on Wigan's Jordi Gomez.
They were unable to hold onto the lead however, with Shaun Maloney equalising for the visitors with a free-kick in the fourth minute of added time.
Redknapp said: “That was one of the toughest moments of my career, never mind the season. We didn't deserve that. We deserved to win. We played with ten men all game nearly and deserved to win the game today.
“It was fantastic performance from every one of them. It was criminal.”
Robert Martinez, the Wigan manager, claimed Gomez was fortunate to escape serious injury following Zamora's challenge.
He said: “It's a shocking challenge. It is a red card. It's unfortunate because I know Bobby Zamora is not a dirty player but the full boot foot on Jordi Gomez's face.
“His studs were at his eye level and unfortunately it was a red card. Jordi is okay. He was lucky the stud didn't catch him in his eye.”
Martinez was frustrated his side failed to make the most of their numerical advantage but insisted they were not distracted by next weekend's FA Cup semi-final with Millwall after failing to secure the win that would have moved them out of the relegation zone,
“Nobody has been talking about the semi-final because they know the priority is our position in the league,” he said.
“The pressure was on them before the game because it was a must win game but that changed after the sending off and we didn't do enough.”
And he added: “I think the points tally has gone up after last week and this week. People were talking about 36, 37 but it will be more and anyone not on 38,39 has a job to do to escape relegation.” – Sapa-AFP