- Sunderland v QPR, Premier League
Redknapp: QPR players should be embarrassed
Newly-appointed Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp says the team should feel embarrassed after collecting just four points from their opening 13 Premier League games.
The straight-talking Redknapp was in feisty mood ahead of Tuesday's clash with Sunderland, and he pulled few punches with his condemnation of the misfiring stars he has been hired to revive in double-quick time.
"Four points is embarrassing," Redknapp is quoted as saying in several newspapers. "How can you have four points from 13 games? It's their fault, no one else's fault and they have to do better if they want to stay in the Premier League, it's a simple as that.
"You get people blaming each other in a situation like this. Players who aren't playing will blame those who are playing. Those who are playing will blame somebody else. It's up to me to make my own decisions over what's wrong with them and what needs doing.
"The challenge here is to bring this group of players together and I'll give it my best shot. I want to stay here for a few years and build a team. This is not a short-term fix for me."
Redknapp also spoke about his departure from Tottenham last summer, saying his sacking may have been a blessing in disguise as it allowed him to recharge his batteries after a traumatic year on and off the field, which included his high profile tax evasion court case that ended in a not guilty verdict last February.
"It was a crazy year and the way it finished at Tottenham was a bit bizarre," Redknapp said. "I have no problem with the people there. Daniel Levy (Spurs chairman) rang me to wish me luck when I took the QPR job, so there is no problem. That's life.
"Tottenham was a great experience. We got the club into the Champions League for the first time and I didn't go away after they sacked me and thought about jumping off a cliff. I played golf the next day, that's the way I am.
"I probably needed a break and leaving Spurs probably didn't do me any harm. I went through a tough year with the court case and everything else.
"I didn't watch a Premier League game until last Saturday (when he saw his new QPR side lose at Old Trafford) because anywhere I went, people would have thought I was after their job. I watched Bournemouth at weekends and loved it. Now I'm looking forward to getting back in the Premier League."
Sunderland player to watch: In a team that creates few chances, Craig Gardner's ability to strike a ball from range - particularly a dead ball - could be crucial. Gardner is the driving force from midfield for the Black Cats and QPR cannot afford to cough up free-kicks around the area.
QPR player to watch: Adel Taarabt was once sold by Redknapp, but now he is tipped as the man to fire Rangers out of trouble. Tuesday reports claim Manchester United are interested in the playmaker, so it will be interesting to see if he can put himself in the shop window.
Betting: Back Harry Redknapp's men to get off to a flyer through Taarabt, before allowing Sunderland to hit back for a 1-1 draw at 55/1 with bet365.