Harry Redknapp arrived for his post-match press briefing in a bristling disposition after his Queen's Park Rangers side lost at Everton. He knows the game is up, relegation now almost a certainty. But Redknapp does not want to be embarrassed like this, so he began by blaming previous regimes.
He's done this on enough occasions already and it's difficult to disagree: QPR's transfer policy has been misguided and self-indulgent financially in the 18 months since Tony Fernandes bought the club. When Redknapp was appointed in November, he inherited a squad overloaded with midfielders, but with a shortage of strikers and competent defenders.
It was suggested to him that his squad has enough talent but not enough fight. Redknapp snapped back: "You say talented players but I don't know – are they that talented? I don't know, really. You have some experienced players but what you need is a good group of characters, a good group of people; you haven't got any problems when you have that."
What will happen to the players on big contracts when relegation is confirmed? It could be in the next fortnight. "It is not a case of players wanting to leave suddenly. I hear that all the time, that if they get relegated they want to go because they don't want to play in the Championship, but if they played better they wouldn't be in the Championship, so that's a load of cobblers."
David Moyes, the Everton manager, was full of praise for striker Victor Anichebe, who scored his side's second, for both his on- and off-field improvements. "My patience has been tested on him because at times his attitude wasn't always what it should have been," Moyes said. "Something had to change with Victor and he has realised that if you want to be successful in this game all the top players run around and work hard."
It might be an idea for some of Redknapp's players to adopt the same approach.
Goals: Everton Gibson 40, Anichebe 56.
Subs: Everton Jelavic (Osman, 81), Naismith (Mirallas, 87), Heitinga (Anichebe, 90). QPR Taarabt 6 (Park, 62), Diakité (Granero, 74).
Booked: Everton Fellaini, Pienaar, Gibson. QPR Bosingwa, Granero, Townsend.
Man of the match Distin. Match rating 5/10. Possession: Everton 55%. QPR 45%.
Attempts on target: Everton 10. QPR 5.
Referee L Mason (Lancashire).
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