Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 18 News List

QPR confirm Harry Redknapp staying

AFP, LONDON

Queens Park Rangers confirmed on Monday that Harry Redknapp would remain as their manager next season, despite the London club’s relegation from the Premier League.

QPR’s goalless draw at Reading on Sunday saw both clubs relegated and speculation over 66-year-old Redknapp’s future intensified when Hoops owner Tony Fernandes, a leading Malaysian businessman, said he would be holding talks with the former Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur boss.

However, Fernandes confirmed later on Monday that Redknapp would be remaining in his post at Loftus Road.

“I have had a positive meeting with Harry,” Fernandes told the QPR Web site. “I don’t think there was any point where he was thinking of not being with us and continuing this project he has embarked upon with a third of the season through. Harry is a football man and he knows what he wants in terms of players … Harry will not be forced to sell any players he wants to keep. We had a very good discussion on this. Harry has been very pragmatic and the shareholders have been very pragmatic. There are some players that we really want to keep and we will do our best to keep them. I think we will.”

Redknapp, who was also relegated from the top flight with Southampton in 2005, could not save QPR from the drop in 22 league games in charge this term, in which they won just 21 points, after replacing the sacked Mark Hughes.

Nevertheless, he said he was looking forward to the challenge of taking QPR back to the top flight at the first attempt.

“We’re all very sorry with the way this season has ended,” Redknapp said. “It’s been a disaster really, a really disappointing season for everyone — the owners, the staff, the fans, everyone associated to the club.”

“We’re going to give it a real good go next season, though, and hopefully get this club back to where it belongs,” said Redknapp, tipped to become England manager before the Football Association appointed Roy Hodgson in succession to Fabio Capello. “We’ve got to rebuild and get a team together that can be really competitive in the Championship. I’ve always said, so many times, how good the people are who own this club — they’re different to anyone else I’ve worked for.”

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