Sport | Football

Harry Redknapp hopes Dubai trip can revive QPR survival bid

Rangers head to UAE for warm-weather training after Swansea defeat

  • Daily Mail
  • Published: 08:41 February 12, 2013
  • Gulf News

London: Harry Redknapp will attempt to revive the flagging spirits of his team during a trip to Dubai this week after Queens Park Rangers were ripped apart by Swansea's latest thrilling display.

The QPR boss blamed sloppy defending but remains convinced that his big-spending club can secure the six wins they need to stay in the Premier League.

After a five-match unbeaten run, Rangers hit the skids with goalkeeper Julio Cesar having a notably miserable afternoon as, for the first time, three Spanish players scored in the same Premier League match.

'We gave away bad goals today from really bad errors,' said Redknapp. 'The goalkeeper's been fantastic but today he had a groin strain and wasn't at his best.

'It made a big difference when Bobby Zamora came on, we could play off him. But he's had a hip operation and can only play half a game.

'But we can still do it, of course we can. We'll have Loic Remy back in two weeks and we need to play a bit more football, create more chances. It's going to be tight. But Wigan and Reading have lost today so we haven't lost any ground. We need to win six matches and we have to believe we can do it. We have to keep going.'

Redknapp (below) had set his team up to defend, leaving just Adel Taarabt up front with a five-man midfield. The system worked against Manchester City but it failed miserably this time. Redknapp's men could not get into the game as fluent Swansea passed their way around them.

In a one-sided first-half Swansea gave a masterclass in possession football and took advantage of some indecisive goalkeeping by Cesar.

When Nathan Dyer found room for a 20-yard shot, Cesar could do no better then push the ball into the path of the in-rushing Michu, whose mis-hit shot ballooned into the air before dropping into the net. Angel Rangel added a second, cutting into the penalty area, and when his cross-shot came back off Cesar, side-footing home the rebound.

QPR's only shot at goal in the first half came from Taarabt after the whistle had blown, which earned the Moroccan a booking.

Redknapp sent Zamora on for the second half and he scored within three minutes, tapping in after Michel Vorm pushed out Taarabt's shot. But QPR's hopes of a comeback lasted two minutes. Michu found Pablo Hernandez, who wriggled past Nedum Onuoha and beat Cesar from the tightest of angles.

Cesar had no chance with the fourth, as Michu took his total for the season to 18 goals, outpacing GBP12.5million signing Chris Samba to beat the keeper.

QPR might have a had a penalty when Ashley Williams appeared to handle a cross from Andros Townsend, had a Stephane Mbia shot cleared off the line by Kyle Bartley and Shaun Wright-Phillips hit the crossbar.

'It was a great afternoon for us,' said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup. 'We were excellent in the first half and recovered well when QPR cut the gap. The third goal was the decisive moment.'

Central defender Chico Flores was carried off in the 31st minute with an ankle injury and was having a scan last night to discover the seriousness of the injury, which puts him in doubt for the Capital One Cup final against Bradford in two weeks.

Gulf News