Harry Redknapp already planning for life in the Championship with QPR
The Hoops take on Reading this weekend with one side certain to be relegated this weekend
Friday 26 April 2013
Harry Redknapp has told his QPR squad they must have the stomach to fight for promotion next year as he starts to come to terms with relegation to the npower Championship.
Despite huge investment over the last 24 months, QPR will be relegated on Sunday if they lose at Reading.
Redknapp's appointment and the arrival of the likes of Chris Samba and Loic Remy have failed to stop Rangers' slide towards the second tier, and the former Tottenham manager is already planning for next season.
The idea of visiting places such as Peterborough, Burnley and Millwall will probably fill the likes of Jose Bosingwa, Remy, and Esteban Granero with dismay, but given the high wages currently dished out to some of QPR's squad, they may have to.
Regardless of their reputation, Redknapp insists those who start the season with the west London club must be up for the fight of trying to escape from the Championship.
"They get paid, they've got to be motivated. If they're not, we'll start paying them again when they are," a bullish Redknapp told a press conference this morning.
"It shouldn't be hard to keep the players motivated. I keep myself motivated. I left home at 6am.
"I've still got the hunger otherwise I wouldn't do it. It will be a big challenge. You're not just going to walk through that league."
Even victory will not be enough to save QPR from the drop if Aston Villa win against Sunderland on Monday.
Redknapp will meet with the board to discuss ins and outs next week, but given the vast amount of money Tony Fernandes has spent since he took over the club, the 66-year-old is loathe to demand a big transfer kitty.
He added: "I wouldn't be looking to spend a sizable amount.
"You don't have to spend fortunes. The players are out there. There are enough good players here to give you a platform to work with. We just need a few characters."
Sure to be at the top of the agenda in that meeting is how exactly QPR are going to clear out the over-paid stars who have failed to live up to expectations.
The likes of Bosingwa, Ji Sung-park and Granero have failed to impress this season, but Redknapp admits there will be more interest in players such as Remy, who he would love to keep.
"The silly thing about this game is the ones you want to keep are the ones who want to go, and the ones that you would like to let go don't want to go," Redknapp said.
"Remy's done great. He could score 20 goals a season in the Premier League.
"He's our leading scorer and he's only played a handful of games. We'd like to keep him but we'll have to sit down and see what his plans are."
The future of Joey Barton is sure to be discussed too. The controversial midfielder has made it clear he wants to stay at Marseille, where he is on loan.
The 30-year-old's combative style would be a big help to Rangers in the Championship, but Redknapp is not holding out much hope about persuading Barton to return from the south of France.
Redknapp said: "He's a good player but if you saw where Joey lives in Marseille, I would think it would be very difficult to get him back here.
"You drive past the mountains and see all those big boats. He's got a nice lifestyle there so I would be surprised if he wanted to come back. He would be a good player for you, for sure."
Redknapp, who will be without Andros Townsend because of a hamstring injury, played down the furore caused by Julio Cesar wearing a Chelsea shirt at David Luiz's fancy dress party on Monday night.
"It's a bit of fun. He was having a laugh with his mate," Redknapp said.
He was slightly less diplomatic about Jay Bothroyd's decision to have a new tattoo that spells out the word 'love' with a handgun, a grenade, a flick-knife and an AK47.
"It's lovely. I'm thinking of having one done," Redknapp joked.
"I haven't seen it. If he comes out and starts scoring a few goals he can have whatever he wants on him."
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