Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp laughs off sack talk

Tony Fernandes has branded reports Harry Redknapp faces the sack at QPR as "a load of nonsense", according to the Loftus Road manager.

Redknapp claimed a club insider is trying to force him out of QPR and pressure increased after his side's 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson scored at Loftus Road to spare Radamel Falcao's blushes as the Colombia striker fluffed four gilt-edged chances.

Former Tottenham boss Redknapp again claimed the full backing of owner Fernandes, however, suggesting the QPR chairman laughed off threats to his future over the phone.

"I'm not worried at all," said Redknapp, despite QPR remaining 19th in the Premier League.

"That's the owner's choice isn't it, if they want to make a change.

"I spoke to Tony Fernandes this week, five times, and he's never mentioned anything to me, he's just said, 'What a load of nonsense'.

"So I don't know.

"Who do you believe, the insider, whoever may be, who's trying to cause a problem, or do you believe the chairman?

"I don't worry. What will be will be.

"It's up to them, it's their club. Tony's the chairman, I can only keep going.

"We're still in amongst it to be fair. Okay today was a setback, but there's nothing in it between the bottom seven teams.

"From Everton downwards it's going to be extremely close and we've got as good a chance as anybody."

United manager Louis van Gaal challenged misfiring loan striker Falcao to "prove himself" in the build-up to Saturday's west London clash.

The 28-year-old promptly wasted four prime chances to score, including twice failing to fire into an empty net.

Despite another off-kilter display, United boss Van Gaal said: "I think he did well."

United's Dutch manager added: "It's not so important what I think, because he wants to score goals.

"And for me I have to judge how he has played.

"Scoring goals is an important aspect of a striker I know, but for me it's also very important if he is an attacking point, that he can play further and that with another striker we are coming into third and fourth phases of our attack.

"And I think he did well."

Van Gaal sent United into action in an unorthodox 3-3-2-2 formation that struggling QPR were still able to pick apart regularly in the first half.

Angel Di Maria started up front alongside Falcao, but United were unable to gain tactical control.

The travelling United fans chanted "attack, attack, attack" and even "four-four-two, four-four-two" in demanding a system change - and eventually the Red Devils' boss relented.

A switch to a 4-4-2 diamond bore the two-goal fruit vital for victory, but Van Gaal felt it would have been risky to start with that set-up.

"I know in advance that when we play with four midfielders in a diamond that we create more chances, but then the balance of the team is also weak," said Van Gaal.

"And you've seen it because we had created chances but so had QPR.

"We have to decide every week how we have to play. And that's the question.

"But also with the other system we played against Tottenham Hotspur, maybe you remember the first half we created maybe six or seven more chances than today, and we didn't score.

"So it's always the question, are you effective enough?

"Against Southampton away we scored two out of three chances and we won the game.

"But it was not because we were the better team at that time.

"Last week we were the better team, but in football it is not always the better team who wins.

"In the first half we played like QPR wanted.

"We did the same thing as QPR, playing through the air, long balls, and QPR were better.

"In the second half we changed the shape and that helped also."


From Belfast Telegraph