QPR V Sunderland at Loftus Road Stadium : Match Preview

29 August 2014 04:01
QPR V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Redknapp defends player criticism

Harry Redknapp has defended his criticism of a number of his players following QPR's midweek cup exit at the hands of Burton as the manager prepares to extend his stay at Loftus Road.

Having made nine changes for the Capital One Cup second round tie against the Sky Bet League Two outfit, Redknapp saw his side slip to a third straight defeat of the season following Barclays Premier League losses to Hull and Tottenham.

The game at the Pirelli Stadium would have been seen as an ideal opportunity for the likes of Clint Hill, Karl Henry and Shaun Wright-Phillips to stake a claim for a place in Redknapp's side to face Sunderland on Saturday.

But, after Adam McGurk's free-kick settled the tie in Burton's favour on Wednesday night, Redknapp was bullish about those individuals who had come into the team.

"It was a poor performance," he said after the game.

"We gave the lads who haven't been playing an opportunity to show what they can do and they showed me what they can do - and it wasn't an awful lot."

With no points yet on the board and a squad that is not the highest in terms of numbers, questioning the performances of his players could be seen as a brave tactic from Redknapp.

However, he insists there is no point dancing around the subject.

"I don't know if I was that critical," he said.

"What are you supposed to say? Are you supposed to come and say 'we played very well, it was a good performance and we tried hard'? We were poor, you can't keep bigging people up all the time - players or people.

"People are not idiots, they stand and watch it and they'd say 'what is he talking about, how can he say that was good?'. I hear managers come on and skirt around the issue all the time. You saw what you saw, we played bad.

"Seven lads had an opportunity to cement their chance to get back into the team and they didn't take it - that is how it was."

The transfer deadline closes on Monday and it is in midfield where QPR will now have to look to strengthen as, despite the additions of Leroy Fer and Jordon Mutch, they have lost Alejandro Faurlin for a number of months due to a serious knee injury sustained at Burton.

Meanwhile, Gus Poyet has admitted Sunderland cannot afford to miss out on their remaining transfer targets if they are to prosper this season.

The Black Cats still have a series of major gaps to plug with sporting director Lee Congerton attempting to give head coach Poyet the tools to implement his plans.

The 46-year-old Uruguayan has grown increasingly exasperated at news of his interest in certain players leaking out and alerting competitors that deals can be struck, and is attempting to draw a veil of secrecy over the club's remaining plans.

However, he is adamant they must be successful before Monday night's deadline if they are to avoid another testing Barclays Premier League campaign.

Poyet said: "The problem is here, we have to [sign more players]. It's not that we are okay and these two are extra quality or extra strength. No, no. It's two or whatever players that we bring who are in the system of my squad.

"We are trying to get specific players, not anyone, and that's why it's been a little bit more difficult.

"It's clear for the recruitment system what I want. I think the problem is there is not that quantity. It's not anyone for whatever reason, it's a certain kind of player.

"You can use the word 'happy', but it's not good enough if we don't because we have a small squad and we need those players."

Sunderland's summer-long pursuit of Liverpool's Fabio Borini is ongoing, but the club has had to draw up contingency plans and have been linked with Lille's Salomon Kalou and Inter Milan wide-man Ricky Alvarez, as well as Belgium international defender Toby Alderweireld, in the last week.

However, Poyet was giving nothing away.

He said: "You do all your work, you get in contact with the club, you get in contact with the player, you research if he has the right mentality, if he has any problems, everything that's important for you.

"Then the name comes out in the Press, another club gets involved, another one offers more money, another one, another one and at the end of the day, he is not coming, so I am sorry, but no names.

"It's been a very difficult summer. There were moments when we were very, very close to getting deals done and at the last minutes for different reasons, they didn't happen, which changes a little bit your ideas about the squad."

Source: PA