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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project