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.

News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Life and Style
fashionLidl to launch a new affordable fashion range
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment