- Premier League
Redknapp: Slackers won't last at QPR
New Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp said that saving the club from relegation will be the toughest task of his career, and he warned his players that any lack of effort will book them a ticket out of Loftus Road.
Redknapp was officially unveiled on Monday morning after he was present to see the team's 3-1 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday.
The former Tottenham and Portsmouth boss admitted that his new job was the most difficult he has taken on, and that keeping QPR in the top flight after not winning any of their first 13 games would be an achievement to surpass taking Spurs to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, or leading Pompey to FA Cup glory.
"It's nice to be back involved in football again," Redknapp said at a packed media conference at the club's Harlington training ground. "[It's a] big challenge, this one, a tough job. But it's one I'm looking forward to doing now.
"We mustn't kid ourselves - this is the toughest job. Much tougher than those two jobs, in my opinion. It's a real challenge, and one I'm looking forward to. I'm confident and optimistic that we can pull it off."
Redknapp said it is the players who are responsible for their perilous position in the Premier League, which led to the sacking of predecessor Mark Hughes, and it is up to them to work hard to turn the situation around.
"I've watched games on TV," he said. "I know the players. I know what they are, where they've been, so I've got a good idea who's who. It shouldn't be too big a problem to sort the team out.
"They've got to realise that they are in this position because they haven't really performed to their capabilities. They've got to do better. They've lost a good manager in Mark, he's been unfortunate to lose his job.
"The players have to take responsibility for their performances. They are the ones that are on the pitch. They are the ones that are playing. You can only put them out there. They've got to up their performance level and get us out of trouble. It's their responsibility that they're in it at the moment. But I feel there is enough ability here that with a little confidence we can climb the table.
"I know the situation, you don't have to be clever to look at it. We've got four points from 13 games, which is an incredibly low total. It needs improving. We've got to do better. If we don't, we've got no chance. We've got to do better to give ourselves any opportunity of getting out of this."
Redknapp, who is expected to be joined at the club by long-term coaching colleagues Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond this week, said that any players not showing the commitment needed to turn around the club's fortunes would find themselves on the bench.
"It's going to be full-on for everybody," he said. "If they are not willing to work hard then they are not going to play. I need people that are going to work. When they lose the ball, chase it.
"That's what you learned when you were at school in the playground. You chased after the ball if you lost it. You worked, you ran about. We need 11 people with the ability to put the effort in. If they put in that effort, we've got a chance of surviving. If they don't they're not going to play to start with and I'll find 11 who will.
"I've got no time for people losing the ball and standing around with their hands on their hips, they've got to work. This is a relegation battle, we've got four points. It's their fault, no one else's. The ability is there, I've got to make them work and get the best out of them."