QPR promoted to the Premier League: Bobby Zamora’s £80m goal seals play-off victory for Rangers
QPR boss ecstatic after last minute winner sends his side back to top league
Harry Redknapp admitted QPR were 'hanging on' for extra time and penalties' when Bobby Zamora scored the 90th-minute goal that won them an instant return to the Premier League at Wembley yesterday. Substitute Zamora's was QPR's only shot on target in a play-off final dominated by Derby County, even before QPR were reduced to ten men by the 58th-minute dismissal of Gary O'Neil.
“It was an amazing finish,” said Redknapp. “We were hanging on, under the cosh, looking to get to extra time. I was looking to keep it tight, maybe get to penalties. I'd be be lying if I said otherwise. Then Bobby sticks it in. What was my instant reaction? Surprise.”
Promotion will bring QPR an extra £80m in TV income (£40m less than it would have been worth to Derby as QPR were already guaranteed £40m in parachute payments). However, they are likely to face a fine of up to £40m for breaching the Football League's financial fair play rules. Nevertheless it was, added Redknapp, “important financially, great for the club.”
The veteran manager was vague on the subject of his own future initially saying he was “looking forward to” being back in the Premier League before adding, “I'm looking forward to the break. I haven't even thought about what next year brings.”
Steve McClaren said he was 'so proud” of his players who “controlled the game” and showed “such courage from a young team”. He added: “Football is a cruel game, one lapse and you lose a game like that.” McClaren continued: “I said to the players, 'we're not ready yet, we've still got a bit of learning to do, but if we stick together, and use the hurt, we will get stronger'.”
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