Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill wary of Harry Redknapp effect ahead of QPR visit

QPR travel to Stadium of Light with new manager in charge

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has warned his players to beware of the “Harry” effect as struggling QPR head north looking for their first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

The Londoners turned to the 65-year-old at the weekend after dispensing with the services of Mark Hughes following a disastrous start to the season.

They will arrive on Wearside having collected just four points from their first 13 games and rooted to the foot of the table.

However, they will do so having briefly threatened to pull off a major shock at Manchester United on Saturday and with one of the domestic game's most experienced campaigners at the helm.

O'Neill said: "He [Redknapp] is a very fine manager, he has proved that.

"The majority of us here in the room might well have thought he was going to be the next England manager, so well had he done at Tottenham Hotspur.

"It wasn't to be, but he is a very fine manager and he will bring all of his experience to bear. He's back in football and he is a talented man."

Redknapp's return to the game coincided with unfounded rumours that O'Neill could be heading out of it again, although the Ulsterman has insisted he is going nowhere as he attempts to turn around a run of results which has not brought a surfeit of defeats, but not enough victories.

The Black Cats have managed just two league wins in their last 20 attempts, and have lost their last two at the Stadium of Light, to Aston Villa and on Saturday, high-flying West Brom.

However, O'Neill has seen cause for optimism in recent weeks following a narrow defeat at Everton and a 3-1 victory at Fulham, although he knows their recent improvement will count for little if they cannot turn it into tangible results.

He said: "It's up to us to go to the game and play as strongly as we have done in the last number of games.

"We have been able to score six goals in the last three matches, so that's another positive for us.

"The league is very, very tight and very few points separate a lot of the teams at this moment, so as Southampton have proved, two consecutive wins put you right back in proper contention and for us, it is just a case of go and win at home."

O'Neill will give central defender John O'Shea and midfielder Lee Cattermole until the last minute to recover from the calf and knee injuries they picked up respectively against the Baggies, although both are major doubts.

He said: "John came off at half-time with a calf injury and Lee came off before that.

"Lee is making progress, so is John - John's might be slower - but we will see how they are. I don't know yet. We will give it as long as we can."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence