Ferguson hails Redknapp's influence
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is adamant Harry Redknapp's presence will give QPR a better chance of Barclays Premier League survival - even though such a scenario is looking more unlikely by the week.
The Hoops have averaged a point a game since Redknapp took charge immediately after their first meeting with United at Old Trafford in November and they remain four points adrift of Wigan at the bottom of the table - and more importantly seven behind Aston Villa, who sit just above the relegation zone.
But Ferguson said: "It is not easy when you are down at the bottom of the league. Harry will be the first to admit that. It may have helped him if he had gone a bit earlier. But with Harry's experience and ability to judge players, he will have a better chance that most in that situation."
Concern has been expressed about the money Tony Fernandes spent during the January transfer window attempting to secure survival. Loic Remy was snapped up in an £8million deal just as it seemed he was about to join Newcastle.
Former Blackburn defender Christopher Samba cost even more after a brief spell with big-spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, whilst ex-England midfielder Jermaine Jenas made the short journey from Tottenham.
Other moves for Peter Crouch, Scott Parker and, memorably, Peter Odemwingie failed in an approach that looked little more than panic buying. And all, Ferguson believes, because the fear of what exists outside the cosy confines of the Premier League haunts those within the elite.
"You can't make money in the Championship," said Ferguson. "You get the parachute payments, which are terrific I suppose. I don't see why it should apply itself but it is there and teams can benefit from that.
"But player contracts are an issue because some of them are on very good ones and the clubs have to pay them. If you drop down, I would imagine motivation is very difficult. The only place you want to be is the Premier League. That is reflected in QPR spending the money they have."
The task facing QPR is to halt the slide immediately or risk tumbling into near oblivion. But clearly, these are not concerns to bother Ferguson. His only task this weekend is to engineer a victory in west London that would put United 15 points clear at the top 24 hours before closest challengers Manchester City take on Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
"We are going down there hoping to win. That is what our job is," said Ferguson. "QPR are fighting for survival and we know it is going to be a hard. But that type of thing is what we need anyway. We need to keep the awareness on making sure we do our job right."