HARRY Redknapp vowed to axe any QPR player who did not pull his weight as he faced up to the ‘‘toughest’’ challenge of his managerial career.
Redknapp insisted Rangers’ ‘‘nice’’ owners had not been given the results they deserved for the money they had paid for their squad in transfer fees and wages.
New QPR boss Redknapp has only been in the Loftus Road hotseat for two days but it took him little time to assess what had led his new side to make the worst start to a season in Premier League history.
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The man who rescued Tottenham and Portsmouth from relegation said at his official unveiling yesterday morning: ‘‘We’ve got four points from 13 games, which is an incredible, low total.
‘‘We’ve got to do better to give ourselves and opportunity to get out of this mess. I need people that are going to work.
‘‘When they lose the ball, chase it. It’s what you learnt when you were at school.
That’s what you did in the playground. I need 11 people with the ability to put effort in. And if they give that effort then we’ve got a chance of surviving.
‘‘If they don’t, they’re not going to play to start with and I’ll find another 11 who will run about and work hard.
He added: ‘‘I’ve got no time for people losing the ball and throwing their arms up in air, and standing around with their hands on their hips.
‘‘We’re in a relegation battle, we’ve got four points. It’s their fault – it’s nobody else’s fault. If everyone works, the ability’s there. I’ve got to make them work and get the best out of them now.
‘‘If they do that then we’ll be okay, we’ll survive.’’ Spurs and Portsmouth were also in dire trouble when Redknapp took charge and he transformed both club’s fortunes in spectacular fashion.
But he said ahead of his first game in charge at Sunderland this evening: ‘‘We mustn’t kid ourselves. This is much tougher than those two jobs in my opinion, but I’m optimistic we can pull it off.’’ Redknapp is set to be reunited with former assistants Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond and added of his new bosses, who sacked Mark Hughes last Friday: ‘‘They don’t deserve to be where they are because they have put so much in during the summer.
‘‘They brought 12... loads of players in. They’ve done so much work on this training ground, they’ve invested, and they are nice people.
‘‘That, for me, was important.
I think they found it very hard last week to let Mark go, that’s for sure.
‘‘They’re not ruthless people, they’re nice people. So I would love to bring some success to them. They deserve it.’’ Redknapp accepted there would be no ‘‘wholesale spending’’ in January after the club recruited extensively during the previous three transfer windows.
But admitted they were short up front, with Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson long-term injury victims.
On the possibility of signing David Beckham, he said: ‘‘I got a lovely text from David the other night, just wishing me well here.
‘‘To have him at any football club would be a great influence on the club, but we’ve not discussed anything.’’ Redknapp has also been linked with Michael Dawson, who came close to joining QPR in the summer.
‘‘Michael’s a top player,’’ he said, before insisting adding to his squad was the last thing on his mind.