- Premier League
Redknapp takes QPR to Dubai
Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has taken his side on a mid-season jaunt to Dubai in a bid to revive their flagging fortunes before they resume what is threatening to become an increasingly forlorn battle against the drop.
A 4-1 defeat at Swansea last Saturday left QPR in a perilous position at the foot of the Premier League table, inspiring Redknapp to try an alternative to a domestic set-up that is clearly not to his liking.
"Our training ground at Harlington is not the best, to say the least," he told the QPR website, touching on a venue that was once used by Chelsea. "When it rains, the pitch floods. When it snows, we can't get on it. We've got no undersoil heating. So this is an opportunity to get out and train on some good surfaces.
"This will provide a good break. We need to get away to train on a decent surface for a few days. I think there are six teams going to Dubai this week, everyone is getting away to do a bit of training."
Redknapp may bump into his old friend Sam Allardyce in Dubai, with the West Ham boss taking his side to the Middle East sunshine retreat as they look to make the most of a two-week sabbatical in their fixture list.
"The climate will be perfect and the training facilities will be superb," Allardyce told the West Ham website. "We'll be carrying on with the training, but let them relax too and after they've done their training allow them to enjoy the warm weather, the sunshine and the beauty of Dubai.
"Everything that goes with Dubai is fantastic, it's one of the best resorts in the world today and when you can go to release the pressures they're under on a day-to-day basis then hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the last part of the season.
"It worked last year, we had a fantastic finish to the season and I still think the trip that we had at this time last year was a big benefit in the end for getting us promoted into the Premier League.
"Most clubs have already been away. I've talked to a lot of managers and they've already taken the opportunity to get away when they can.
"When the lads can train in short sleeves and shorts, and the weathers in the 60s, 70s, 80s degrees, they don't want to finish training, they just want to carry on. You get an awful lot more out of them.
"When they are in gloves and hats, it's hard to keep them warm, you have to keep them going. It's not an ideal environment whereas Dubai is a fantastic environment for training.
"The benefits mentally will be massive. The pressure on players today is enormous in the Premier League, it's all around you, all the time. It's 24/7, so to go away and recuperate physically and mentally is a big, big thing for us."