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.

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea