Harry Redknapp encouraged by QPR performance against Sunderland


Queens Park Rangers new boss Harry Redknapp is confident his side can turn things around this season around after his first game in charge ended in a goalless draw at Sunderland. Rangers remain at the bottom of the table despite claiming a first point in five games but Redknapp was very happy with Tuesday's display.

"We need to play as a team and be a team," Redknapp said. "If we can put them [the players] together and get them to work together, we have got a chance." Redknapp was appointed as Rangers new boss last Saturday, after the club had sacked Mark Hughes. The result left QPR with just four points from 13 matches and a whole eight points from safety.

But Redknapp praised his side for their performance: "We worked hard and we deserved a point. We defended well, denied them chances and had good opportunities ourselves. We looked at the stats before this game and I think we've been outworked by just about every team we've played and you can't win if that is the case. But everyone worked hard tonight. That is encouraging for the future."

Harry Redknapp was particularly happy with his midfield which looked solid thanks to the the strength of Stephane Mbia and Samba Diakite and creative thanks to the ball-playing skills of Esteban Granero. "The midfield looked strong and has bags of ability," he said. "They're big strong athletes. It is a nice blend and a midfield you wouldn't like to play against."

Redknapp did achieve a miraculous fightback in the past, his previous experience as manager of Portsmouth for instance, when he took over in December 2005 and helped them survive relegation against all odds. "We have to give the supporters something to get behind. This reminds me of my time at Portsmouth with the passionate supporters in a small stadium. We have to make home form count and the fans are important in that. But I'll go home pleased tonight. There is a good spirit in the dressing room. The players are disappointed not to win but it is about slowly building something."

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill was not as happy after the game: "I was hoping we might win the game," he said, as his side remain two points above the relegation zone with 13 points from as many games. "I knew QPR would be buoyed by Harry Redknapp's appointment but I thought we could create enough to win. There were chances at both ends but it was a frustrating evening. We got a point on the board but we're disappointed we couldn't make three. It was tough going."

Whether Redknapp will manage to turn things around remains to be seen, at the moment Bet365 have Queens Park Rangers as candidates for relegation, priced at 4/6 to go down this season.

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