Harry Redknapp sets sights on Michael Dawson and Darren Bent as QPR agree to spend
New manager will have more money available in January window than he is prepared to admit
Harry Redknapp, who will be officially presented as Queen's Park Rangers manager today, has deliberately understated the resources at his disposal, suggesting that he would be permitted only "one or two loans" in January though the club has already committed to back him in the transfer market.
Redknapp is likely to renew Rangers' interest in Tottenham Hotspur's Michael Dawson, with whom his predecessor Mark Hughes could not agree personal terms this summer but who had not started a league game for Andre Villas-Boas until yesterday.
Rangers' desperate need of a striker may also see him seek out Darren Bent. The 28-year-old, out of favour at Aston Villa, finished top scorer for Spurs in the season Redknapp took over and took the club to eighth.
Redknapp suggested that he would speak to his chairman, Tony Fernandes, about David Beckham, who has announced an end to his Los Angeles Galaxy career and who trained with Redknapp's Spurs early last year. But a serviceable goalscorer and central defender are Rangers' realistic recruits.
"I'm sure he could still play in the Premier League," Redknapp said of Beckham. "He is a top player and a fantastic person. We had him at Tottenham training and he was amazing around the place, absolute class. I haven't discussed it with the chairman at the moment so we'd have to look at that but David could still certainly be a great asset to anybody, showing people how to train, how to look after yourself. His professionalism is second to none."
QPR's caretaker manager Mark Bowen admitted yesterday that Armand Traoré's early departure at Old Trafford precipitated Saturday's collapse to a 3-1 defeat by bringing Anton Ferdinand into the action.
Traoré's problem typifies the unanticipated difficulties Hughes encountered with his signings. He is suffering what Bowen called a "stress syndrome" which causes fatigue. "You [then] almost have to help him by bringing him off or something could go wrong," Bowen explained.
Jamie Mackie, recalled by Bowen for only his fourth Premier League start of the season, hinted that he felt there was no need for Hughes to buy so heavily in the summer. The striker, who impressed with a goal and a disallowed effort, said that as a Spurs fan he considered Redknapp a "brilliant appointment" and that Rangers had failed to get "the basics right".
"The manager brought a lot of these players in and there were some good players here already. It's no good pointing the finger at anybody else," Mackie said.
Redknapp's Midas touch is not quite as golden as it might seem. His Southampton were relegated after he inherited the 18th-placed side in December 2004, and though he twice kept Portsmouth up after taking over in mid-season, they dropped two places before the end of 2001/02 and rose only one place in 2005/06. It was at Tottenham – 20th when he arrived in October 2008 but eighth by the end of that season – that he made his reputation as a saviour.
He said yesterday that the target for QPR was "fourth from bottom. If we can stay up, that's all we're looking at. We've got to try and survive this year."
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