Southampton 1 QPR 2 match report: Drinking tales force Harry Redknapp to target siege mentality at QPR

QPR manager plans to use tabloid reports of boozing in Dubai to galvanise survival effort

Dubai or not Dubai, that is the question for Queen's Park Rangers. Not whether their players went out drinking while on a warm-weather training break last month, as reported by a tabloid on Saturday morning, but how much it will affect the rest of their season, either positively or negatively.

Click here to watch the highlights of the game

If the intention of the trip to the Gulf was to improve team bonding, then the fact that three anonymous players quoted on Saturday apparently broke ranks suggests that it failed. But if its unintended consequences include the development of a backs-to-the-wall siege mentality that helps the team win, then it may prove an accidental masterstroke.

Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, suggested that the negative headlines had been a powerful motivating factor in Saturday's important victory over a relegation rival. The trick now will be to keep that "us against the world" spirit alive. Redknapp's main issue with the reports concerned the degree of, er, "relaxation" that his players indulged in. "It came from a football agent," Redknapp said, "I know exactly where the story came from. It was a disgusting story. It was full of untruths."

He claims that they had only one evening out, and trained hard every day, and in any case many supporters may not share the manufactured outrage that usually accompanies such reports. Good heavens, footballers like a drink? Next you'll be telling me that some musicians take drugs.

What will concern the fans more are the potentially damaging suggestions in the tabloid that the QPR squad is split over the huge wage differentials and into cliques, especially between British-born players and foreigners. The issues will have to be addressed, but in the short term, the team only needs to be cohesive enough to win games, which will test even Redknapp's famed arm-round-the-shoulder style of management.

In QPR's favour was Saturday's match, which shows that the fans who filled the visitors' end at St Mary's were not too outraged by the tales from Dubai to get behind the team in adversity – Chelsea, take note – and that Redknapp's squad has enough spirit and even quality to deliver victories.

Whether they can win the five that Redknapp has targeted remains to be seen, even with Sunderland, Aston Villa, Fulham, Wigan, Stoke and Reading among their next seven opponents.

"It's hard to look at [fixtures] and think which you'll win and lose," Redknapp said. "You think 'We'll beat them,' and then you go and lose and you win at Chelsea when you think you'll be pleased if you get a corner."

His trump card may be the outstanding Christopher Samba, who finally played as Redknapp must have hoped he would when signing him from Anzhi for £12.5m on transfer deadline day, and he revealed that Tony Fernandes, the owner, had resisted an offer to make a quick profit. "We had an offer of more money than we paid for Samba and the chairman turned it down," he said. " A massive offer, to go back to Russia last week, their transfer deadline.

"If the chairman had sold him I'd have played someone else, that's football – but he's a player. I could never understand why Arsenal or someone didn't sign him. He can head it, he's quick, he's got the lot, hasn't he? He's a proper centre half. He could play anywhere in this country in any of those sort of teams."

That he is still playing for QPR is an act of faith by Fernandes in the club's chances of survival this season. The owner will clearly have plenty to do in summer whether they succeed or fail but for now the job of Redknapp and the players is to ensure that his faith is not misplaced – Dubai or no Dubai.

Goals: Southampton Ramirez 45. QPR Remy 14, Bothroyd 77.

Substitutions: Southampton Rodriguez 7 (Lallana, 43), Shaw 6 (Fox, 57), Ward-Prowse 6 (Ramirez, 75). QPR Jenas 7 (Granero, 54), Green 8 (Cesar, 75), Fabio (Bothroyd, 90).

Bookings: Southampton Fonte. QPR Bothroyd, Mbia, Traore. Man of the match Samba. Match rating 6/10. Possession: Southampton 67%. QPR 33%. Attempts on target: Southampton 7. QPR 3. Referee H Webb (South Yorkshire). Att 31,728.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform