Five things Harry Redknapp needs to do to save QPR

Queens Park Rangers 1 Aston Villa 1: With his side seven points adrift of safety, the new manager must work a minor miracle

Joe Royle sent Harry Redknapp a text message saying that keeping Queen's Park Rangers in the Premier League would be a biblical miracle. Redknapp said doing it would be his greatest achievement in management. The feeding of the five thousand was one thing but turning Rangers around would be quite another. But what does Harry have to do?

1 GET THE FIRST WIN

The longer it takes the harder it is. QPR have equalled Swindon Town's Premier League record for a winless start from 1993, having now gone 15 games, more than one third of a season.

After the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday Redknapp admitted there was a confidence crisis at Loftus Road. "It always creates anxiety when you are bottom of the league," he said. "Football is like life. It's about confidence. When things are going well you win games you don't know how you won. You think 'we were rubbish today' but we keep winning. Sometimes you come off and you've played well but you can't get a win. That's how it goes. We just need a win."

2 TURN LOFTUS ROAD INTO A FORTRESS

Redknapp has said QPR remind him of Portsmouth. There are similarities, in their local tight-knit fan-base but also in their ground. Loftus Road, with its steep sides and its cramped angles, is certainly reminiscent of Fratton Park. There were 17,387 people at Loftus Road on Saturday but there is a better atmosphere than at grounds with twice that number.

Last season, when Mark Hughes kept QPR in the Premier League, it was thanks to a late run of five consecutive home wins. They even beat Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs. Redknapp will need the same again this year. There is sympathy for the new regime, judging by the chants of 'Harry Redknapp's blue and white army' before the supporters even saw their new manager.

3 FIND BALANCE IN MIDFIELD

Hard work will be crucial in this fight. What Redknapp must do is find the right combination of effort and talent, especially in midfield. Despite the lack of strikers and defenders, Rangers have better midfield options than most of their relegation rivals.

Redknapp started on Saturday with Samba Diakité and Stéphane M'Bia holding and Esteban Granero ahead of them. In theory it should have worked but Villa's lower-key trio of Ashley Westwood, Brett Holman and Barry Bannan passed around them. Rangers only improved when Redknapp replaced Granero's artistry with Park Ji-sung's industry at half-time. But Granero is an excellent player and surely has a role in Rangers' best team. The same could be said of Alejandro Faurlin, a more natural midfielder than most in the top flight.

4 BRING IN A GOALSCORER

Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson are injured, leaving Rangers with only Djibril Cissé and Jamie Mackie as available forwards.

On Saturday Redknapp left Cissé on the bench and asked Mackie to lead the line on his own. He worked hard, holding the ball up well and scoring with a fine header in the first half. But he is not likely to fire Rangers to safety.

"It's a problem," Redknapp admitted afterwards. "We are short of goals. We relied on Jamie, you've got Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright-Phillips, but we are not overloaded with goal-scorers at the club that's obvious."

5 PREPARE FOR JANUARY

Redknapp said that it will only be worth spending in January if Rangers' form improves but it is inconceivable that they will not. They have a desperate need for strikers, but also for centre-backs. Ryan Nelsen and Clint Hill played on Saturday, and though good professionals are 35 and 34 years old respectively. Quite a few of Redknapp's former Spurs players might be attainable. Rangers need quality and fast.

Match facts

QPR: GREEN 5/10, BOSINGWA 7, NELSEN 6, HILL 6, TRAORE 5, WRIGHT-PHILLIPS 6, DIAKITE 7, GRANERO 5, MBIA 6, TAARABT 6, MACKIE 6

Aston Villa: GUZAN 7, LICHAJ 6, HERD 7, CLARK 7, BAKER 6, LOWTON 7, BANNAN 7, WESTWOOD 7, HOLMAN 7, AGBONLAHOR 6, BENTEKE 7

Goals: QPR Mackie 18. Aston Villa Holman 8. Subs: QPR Derry 5 (Mbia, 39), Park 6 (Granero, h-t), Hoilett 5 (Diakité, 69). Villa Williams 6 (Herd, 65), Delph 6 (Bannan, 67), El Ahmadi 7 (Holman, 70).

Bookings: QPR Derry. Aston Villa Baker, Lowton. Man of the match Guzan. Match rating 6/10.

Possession: QPR 50%. Aston Villa 50%.

Attempts on target: QPR 12. Aston Villa 3.

Referee H Webb (Sth Yorks). Attendance 17,387.

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.

Day In a Page

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
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition