LONDON. England December 31 – Harry Redknapp says only committed players need apply to join Queens Park Rangers’ fight against relegation, after his side were left eight points from Premier League safety following a 3-0 loss to Liverpool.
Luis Suarez claimed an early brace and Daniel Agger added a 28th-minute header to give Liverpool a 3-0 half-time lead at Loftus Road on Sunday that they did not relinquish.
Defeat left QPR three points below second-bottom Reading at the bottom of the table and only once in Premier League history has a team survived after being bottom on New Year’s Day — West Bromwich Albion’s ‘Great Escape’ of 2005.
Redknapp confirmed that he would look to bring in new players in the January transfer window, but only if they have the stomach for a battle.
“It’s not easy getting players in at this stage of the season when you’re bottom of the league, but if someone’s up for a challenge and it’s a player we want, it’s a great chance,” the QPR manager told Sky Sports.
“I still think we’ll get out. We’ll get a couple of players in, and I still think we’ll get out.
“We need some new faces and that’s what we’ll try to do. I think if we can get the right players in, we can make a real effort.”
QPR face a daunting fixture list, with games against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City all awaiting in the month ahead, but Redknapp says he is in no mood to give up hope.
“We’ve got some hard games this month. Chelsea, Tottenham, they’re tough games, but there’s a long way to go,” he said.
“There could be 10 games left and you need 20 points (to stay up), and you can do it. You can’t give up.
“We have to keep believing, keep going. Those that are with us are with us, those that aren’t. We’ll try and do something.”
QPR’s Malaysian owner, Tony Fernandes, who backed Redknapp’s predecessor, Mark Hughes, heavily in the close-season transfer window, made his feelings clear immediately after the game.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “No excuse. Lost for words. Back to the drawing board. Woeful performance.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was not able to attend the game due to a minor illness but his deputy, assistant coach Colin Pascoe, said there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.
“That’s probably the best we have played for a long time with the display in the first half. The way we took our chances was pleasing,” he said.
“Luis Suarez is superb. He’s a maverick. He creates chances for himself, finishes them and is a great lad.
“It was great result from the lads and the way we performed in the first half secured the win. We were disappointed with the defeat by Stoke on Boxing Day and the response from the players was terrific.”