10:01am Thursday 3rd January 2013
HARRY REDKNAPP hopes last night’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea will enable QPR to attract players in the transfer window after expressing his disappointment at missing out on Joe Cole.
Shaun Wright-Phillips fired an outstanding 78thminute winner against his former club as Rangers secured their first triumph at Stamford Bridge in three decades.
Redknapp believes new signings are required if QPR, who remain at the foot of the table on goal difference, are to escape relegation, but insists the club will be a more appealing destination after edging the west London derby.
Liverpool playmaker Cole topped Redknapp’s wish list but the 31-year-old has opted to return to boyhood club West Ham, according to the Rangers boss.
‘‘If I can improve the squad in the window it will give us a chance. This win is very important for us when it comes to signing players,’’ Redknapp said.
‘‘They might think that now we do have a chance and it would be nice to try and help us get out of this mess and achieve something. Let’s be up for the challenge.
‘‘I lost Joe who would have been my first signing. He probably looked here and thought ’Harry I love you but you’re not going to stay up’.
‘‘I like Joe and he would have been good for me. He’s West Ham and they love him there. I thought he was coming for sure but West Ham came in today.’’ The three points has invigorated QPR’s battle against relegation and was the perfect response to their 3-0 surrender to Liverpool at Loftus Road last Sunday.
Only goal difference separates them from 19th-placed Reading and while they remain five points away from safety, Redknapp hopes the conclusion of their threematch losing streak will provide the springboard to climb the table.
‘‘That was our first away win in the league since October 2011. Let’s hope we can build on it. There’s still a long way to go but that was encouraging,’’ Redknapp said.
‘‘We had a good meeting after the Liverpool match and I convinced the players we can stay up.
‘‘Everybody else thought I was mad but I do genuinely believe it. We’re not doomed, we can turn it around.
‘‘If we keep working hard for the rest of the season we’ll win games away and at home.
We have to make the most of that.
‘‘The atmosphere in the changing room afterwards was fantastic, it’s the first time I’ve really experienced that here.
‘‘I said to (assistant coach) Joe Jordan after the game, ’I cant remember having many better games than this one’.
‘‘Chelsea were flying and we did it on the back of that Liverpool defeat.’’ Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez rested Ramires, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard on the bench but still created more than enough chances to win a fifth successive match.
The Spaniard insists his rotation policy was justified given the club’s heavy workload.
‘‘We were tired and weren’t precise. We made a mistake and gave them their chance,’’ Benitez said. ‘‘I don’t regret the changes because we can’t carry on with the same players in every game.
‘‘If you’re playing a team at the bottom of the table at home, you have to trust your players and I trust them.’’ Benitez admitted Fernando Torres, Chelsea’s only striker, needed a rest but refused to elaborate on the club’s pursuit of Demba Ba after Newcastle revealed their £7million striker is having talks at Stamford Bridge.
‘‘I don’t have any official information about the situation.
Officially he’s not our player,’’ he said.
‘‘The club is working and hopefully we can see someone soon. Then we can talk about the player.
‘‘If we can do the business quickly hopefully he’ll be available for the weekend, but we can’t say too much.’’
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