Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Redknapp braced for Championship

Harry Redknapp is already planning for life in the Championship

Harry Redknapp has told his QPR squad they must have the stomach to fight for promotion next year as he starts to come to terms with relegation to the npower Championship.

Despite huge investment over the last 24 months, QPR will be relegated on Sunday if they lose at Reading. Redknapp's appointment and the arrival of the likes of Chris Samba and Loic Remy have failed to stop Rangers' slide towards the second tier, and the former Tottenham manager is already planning for next season.

"They get paid, they've got to be motivated. If they're not, we'll start paying them again when they are," a bullish Redknapp told a press conference. "It shouldn't be hard to keep the players motivated. I keep myself motivated. I left home at 6am. I've still got the hunger otherwise I wouldn't do it. It will be a big challenge. You're not just going to walk through that league."

Even victory will not be enough to save QPR from the drop if Aston Villa win against Sunderland on Monday.

Redknapp will meet with the board to discuss ins and outs next week, but given the vast amount of money Tony Fernandes has spent since he took over the club, the 66-year-old is loathe to demand a big transfer kitty.

He added: "I wouldn't be looking to spend a sizeable amount. You don't have to spend fortunes. The players are out there. There are enough good players here to give you a platform to work with. We just need a few characters."

Sure to be at the top of the agenda in that meeting is how exactly QPR are going to clear out the over-paid stars who have failed to live up to expectations.

The likes of Jose Bosingwa, Ji Sung-park and Esteban Granero have failed to impress this season, but Redknapp admits there will be more interest in players such as Remy, who he would love to keep.

"The silly thing about this game is the ones you want to keep are the ones who want to go, and the ones that you would like to let go don't want to go," Redknapp said.

"Remy's done great. He could score 20 goals a season in the Premier League. He's our leading scorer and he's only played a handful of games. We'd like to keep him but we'll have to sit down and see what his plans are."

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