QUEENS Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp admitted it would be difficult to clear out players on high wages this summer as the west London side prepare for the Championship after their relegation from the Barclays Premier League was confirmed yesterday.
Referee: K Friend
Reading were also condemned to relegation following an uneventful 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium, meaning both sides will now play in the npower Championship next year.
Redknapp replaced Mark Hughes at Loftus Road in November with the club already cut adrift with just four points from their opening 12 games. The former Tottenham manager admitted the club needs a lot of work but that a clear-out of big-name players on good money will not be an easy task over the summer.
“There are problems within the club,” he conceded. “It is not easy to change when people have got contracts – I’ve heard over the years that players will want to leave because you have been relegated but where are they going to go?
“If they had played better perhaps we wouldn’t have gone down, one or two will be wanted by good clubs.
“There are an awful lot here that have good contracts and it would be hard to get rid of them even if I wanted to shift them. You can’t shift people on two or three-year contracts for good money.
“It has not been an easy club to manage, but if it had been easy I wouldn’t have got the job. They offered me the job because that is the situation they were in, otherwise I wouldn’t have got the job, Mark would have still been sitting here now.
“I’m only concerned about the owners of the football cub. QPR are not a super power going into the championship.”
Redknapp also acknowledged he expected a tough season in the fight for an immediate return. “QPR have got no divine right to come back up next season,” he said. “You will see 14, 15, 16 clubs in the Championship who have won things – Notts Forest, Derby, Leicester, Blackburn, Burnley were a big club in the 60s – all big clubs in the Championship – we are going into it next year and it will be hard to get out of it, make no doubt about that.
“There is a whole lorry-load of them, Leeds United, one of the greatest clubs in football history, there are massive clubs in the division.
“Winning is a lovely habit but it is very hard when you have been losing all year and you are expected to win every week.”
Reading manager Nigel Adkins came into the club in March after Brian McDermott was relieved of his duties. The Royals have picked up two points from his opening five games and Adkins, who brought Southampton up from the Championship last year, is now targeting a similar success with Reading.
“The fact of the matter is we’re down,” he said. “We needed to win and we haven’t, what we have to do now is get ourselves ready for the Championship.
“We know where we are going to be for next season now. We have players who have experienced the Championship, but like all clubs there will certainly be players coming and going. We learned the lessons from being in the Premier League and the objective will be to get back to the Premier League.
“I’ve been here for five games now. What happened previously is something that was not in my control. All I can do is look at the players, their attitude and application – there are a lot of positives. We’re looking to play a certain way.”
Despite a poor points return from their season to date, Adkins remains confident he has seen signs of progression since he was appointed.
“I think when we look at it, we have only won four all season,” he added. “Since Arsenal up to now, I think we have improved. Everyone can see the ideas we are trying to implement. We’ve got a really good group of players, they won the Championship last season, but unfortunately the Premier League got away from us this year. The lads have given us everything on the training ground and in games and I have a lot of respect for the players for doing that.”
In a match both teams needed a win to have any chance of staying up, neither side managed to create a moment of class to collect all three points and clear-cut chances were few and far between.