Championship Play-off Final 2014: Harry Redknapp faces exit if Rangers fall at the last

 

Harry Redknapp could be in charge of Queen’s Park Rangers for the final time today, with the veteran manager at risk of losing his job should they lose their Championship play-off final against Derby County at Wembley.

Despite having the strongest squad in the division, with by a distance the biggest wage bill, Redknapp could only guide Rangers to a fourth-place finish in the table this season, five points behind third-placed Derby and 13 away from the automatic promotion places.

Redknapp insisted that the season would not be a failure even if they did not win promotion but the board are not certain to see it that way, and a parting of ways would be likely in talks after the final. The manager has one year left on the contract he signed in November 2012.

“My focus is Saturday,” Redknapp said in his press conference on Thursday morning. “Let’s get a result Saturday and then we can all sit down on Sunday and Monday and start planning for the future. We haven’t even thought about next year yet.”

Redknapp argued that regardless of the financial muscle of his squad – their wage bill for the 2012-13 season was £78 million, 128 per cent of the club’s turnover – there had been so much disruption at Loftus Road that promotion straight back to the Premier League was always going to be difficult.

“I think at the start of the year people were talking about wage bills and this, that and the other all the time,” he said. “We had 18 players leave here. We let a lot of players go that we didn’t want to keep, but we also let players go that we did want to keep.

“Look at the season Loïc Rémy’s had, Stéphane Mbia has scored two goals in the Europa League semi-final for Seville, Adel Taarabt’s playing for Milan,  so they weren’t exactly mugs we let go. We had to change a lot of people around.”

This turnover in players gave Redknapp a fear that Rangers were at risk of “doing a Wolves” and getting relegated for a second consecutive season. “I just think we’ve done well, to be fair,” he said, when asked if QPR’s spending put more pressure on him.

“If you think about it logically, we let a lot of good players go and almost throwing a team together at the start of the year. When I went to Peterborough this year in pre-season [on 13 July] and got beat, I thought we could be in trouble. I got a feeling, if we aren’t careful we could ‘do a Wolves’ this year. That was my honest opinion at that time.”

“We got beat badly at Peterborough, went to Exeter [on 11 July], nicked a result, struggled there and I thought ‘it’s going to be tough here’. The way we set off and the way we have gone, I’m very pleased. We lost a couple of key players at the wrong time who were very important to us. And we had that little slump but we have come back from it.”

Redknapp said he wanted to win today’s final for the sake of QPR’s owners, who have spent so much of their money on the club. “They are nice people,” he said. “I’m desperate to win for them, and desperate to win for the fans. That’s the only thing I’ll be interested in.

“I won’t be going to a party on Saturday night if we win,” he added. “I’ll be going and having a bit of pasta with  my wife.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea