Belfast Telegraph

No festive cheer for Redknapp

QPR boss Harry Redknapp has told his players to forget about organising a Christmas party and to focus all their attention on avoiding relegation.

Rangers are second bottom of the Barclays Premier League table and face a crucial month that includes fixtures against Burnley, West Brom and Crystal Palace.

Redknapp's dislike for club festivities grew in December 2009 when his Tottenham side flew to Dublin for a secret night out, only to lose 1-0 at home to Wolves on their return.

"No, I'm not into Christmas parties, not for footballers," Redknap said.

"I think it's more aggravation than it's worth. It's a changing world out there and there's always someone out there with a camera on their phone."

Redknapp continued: "I haven't spoken to them about it, they haven't mentioned anything about a Christmas party.

"I think they understand the pitfalls of going out.

"You've only got to be closing your eyes and someone has got a picture of you making it look like you're drunk. It's not worth the hassle."

Rangers host fellow strugglers Burnley on Saturday, hoping to climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since September.

"We're in a relegation battle and we need to make sure we concentrate fully," Redknapp said.

"I think we've got a Christmas do on Monday with all the staff who work behind the scenes and run the club.

"It's just a meal, so we're going to go to that. But as far as going out and having a jolly-up, (it) is not something I want."

Redknapp added: "It's a big month for us. In terms of the fixtures, the teams we've got are down there with us so it's important we pick up some good points from these games."

Burnley endured a poor start to the season but have moved above QPR after going unbeaten in their last four matches.

Danny Ings has played an integral part in the Clarets' recent revival, scoring four goals in his last six games, and Redknapp is expecting a tough test from Sean Dyche's side.

"They've got goals in the team. Ings can score - he's a bit like Charlie Austin - the pair of them are good goalscorers," Redknapp said.

"Sean Dyche has done an amazing job there, he's got a great enthusiasm, he knows the game, he's got excellent knowledge.

"He's a very positive guy, every time you see him he's always believing they're going to get a result.

"I've been impressed with him, I think he's done a smashing job."

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