Joe Royle: Harry Redknapp will struggle to do what we did
Confidence will be low at QPR, but that is where Harry will come into his own
Saturday 24 November 2012
The Everton side of 1994-95 managed by Joe Royle are the only team to survive in the Premier League after taking four points from the first 12 matches, QPR's tally. Everton finished 15th, five points clear of relegation, and beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
"There are a lot of parallels between the situation Harry Redknapp will inherit at QPR and the one I found at Everton in 1994-95. The team had survived relegation on the last day of the previous season after a change in management, brought in new players in the summer, but struggled again. Confidence was low.
There are, though, important differences. With respect to the players at QPR, I don't think Harry is taking on a squad with the strength of character I did. I had Barry Horne, Dave Watson, David Unsworth, Duncan Ferguson and, in goal, Neville Southall. I also had good players who were not in the team, players like Andy Hinchcliffe, John Ebbrell and Joe Parkinson, who I was able to bring in. I'm not sure QPR have that strength in depth.
The key thing was we started well. My first game was Liverpool, at Goodison Park. It was one of those nights. An amazing atmosphere. We won 2-0 with a goal from Big Dunc starting it off, and then beat Chelsea and Leeds. They were three top sides at the time. That gave us confidence; we had eight points from 14 games when I arrived, we took 42 from the remaining 28 matches beating teams like Manchester United and Newcastle United. Even then we were only safe in the last few weeks.
Confidence will be low at QPR, but that is where Harry will come into his own. He is a good man-manager, players like him and want to play for him. He will get them smiling again. Harry has always liked talent, he won't be trying to dig out results. He will see a place for Adel Taarabt. There's also Djibril Cissé, who can score if you can keep him on the pitch. He could be the leader for them Dunc was for us.
I hope Harry keeps QPR up, he is a good man, but it will be difficult. He needs to invest in January as I don't think he has the players to call on I did."
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