Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Redknapp vows not to repeat errors

Harry Redknapp is backing QPR to enjoy a sensible season in the Premier League
Harry Redknapp is backing QPR to enjoy a sensible season in the Premier League

Harry Redknapp insists QPR will not make expensive mistakes this time around after two recent forgettable seasons in the Barclays Premier League.

Former England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand penned a one-year contract at Loftus Road on Thursday, becoming Redknapp's first new signing of the summer.

The duo worked together at West Ham, with Redknapp handing a 17-year-old Ferdinand his professional debut in 1996, and both will be hoping for a positive reunion.

Rangers go into the new campaign having been promoted through the play-offs, spending just one season away from the elite, and with a squad that bares almost no resemblance to that which slipped down to the Championship in 2013.

Jose Bosingwa was criticised for laughing and joking as he left the field following the dire goalless draw with Reading that sealed both sides' Premier League relegation, but he was not the only marquee signing to fail at Loftus Road.

The likes of Park Ji-sung, Julio Cesar, Chris Samba and Djibril Cisse all came in on high wages and were soon deemed to be unwanted by the man in charge.

But, in signing 35-year-old Ferdinand, Redknapp is certain he is not falling into the same trap for a second time.

"We are determined not to make those mistakes again," he said.

"I think Tony (Fernandes, chairman) and the board have learned from that so we have got to make sure this time, as best we can, we make the right decisions and get the right characters in here.

"We don't want people who are going to come here just for the money and not be interested in the club. We want people who genuinely want to come here and play and do well for us.

"You have to do your homework on people. If they are a t****r you find out don't you? You talk to people and there is always someone in the game you know, who might be a good player and played with them. You say 'What's he like?'. You find out."

With a clothing brand, online magazine and record label, as well as working as a pundit for the BBC during the World Cup, Ferdinand has many interests that could have seen him move away from a playing career.

But, with reports that Ferdinand's basic wage at QPR will be as low as £40,000 a week, Redknapp feels there are enough factors which prove his desire to continue.

"The money he has come here for, he doesn't need to put himself out," he added.

"How many championships has he won? He's been there and done everything. What we are paying him here isn't going to change his life.

"You've seen what he's done at the BBC, he's on the A-team. Last game of the World Cup, he's there, him and (Alan) Hansen and Alan (Shearer), all those other pundits that were doing the shows but then they went 'bosh' - this is the day we pick our top three.

"He's got a great future if he wants in television, or whatever he wants to do in his life. He could have been an ambassador, I think Manchester United wanted him.

"He wants to play football. He's like a little boy - 'I've not been sleeping I've been so excited about coming to play'.

"He has got other business interests but I think he isn't going to come here unless he's sure. Why would you mug yourself off now when you've been a top player?

"Why would he put himself under that pressure? He isn't thick, he's not stupid. Why would he do it for the few quid that he's going to earn here? So he's here to play."

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