QPR’s penalty miss against Norwich City could cost big-spending Harry Redknapp dear
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Harry Redknapp admitted he had targeted a win over Norwich for a major Premier League survival boost.
The QPR chief cut a frustrated figure after watching his side fail to break down a resolute Norwich outfit with keeper Mark Bunn in outstanding form, capped by a penalty save from Adel Taarabt.
Rangers have won at Chelsea and drawn against champions Manchester City in recent games, but Redknapp was under no illusions the key to safety hinges on beating clubs in Norwich’s bracket.
“Listen we haven’t lost a (league) game since the turn of the year which isn’t bad if you look at the games we have coming up,” he said. “This was the one you looked at, away to Chelsea, you think you get anything there is it a miracle. You come home and its another tough game, Liverpool, then away to West Ham. Manchester City at home, if you get a point you are delighted. But this was one I looked at and thought we had to go for it, go for the win. If we had converted the penalty we would have won.
“We just needed to get our noses in front and when you get the penalty you feel we can go on and win the game. In the position we were in I felt we looked strong defensively, we just couldn’t convert the penalty unfortunately. We need wins, that is obvious the situation we are in, but we couldn’t have tried any harder.”
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The Rangers’ boss suffered an injury blow on the eve of Norwich’s visit with new French striker Loic Remy suffering a groin problem in training.
“We are hoping Remy is not too bad. I’ve no idea (how long he will be out). He got a groin last minute of training when he struck a ball,” said Redknapp. “I thought Bobby Zamora made a big difference when he came on but he can’t play 90 minutes. With him fit he would be in that team, no doubts about that.
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“He had an operation on his hip but it seizes up on him. He may need another op at the end of the season. Once he stops after 10 minutes he feels it clamp up. Getting through 30 minutes or half a game is a miracle at the moment.
“If Bobby was fit I would not have bothered (in the window). He as good as anybody around in my opinion. When he came on, he pinned them, we dropped balls up to him, he held it up on his chest and played others in but he is not capable of doing it for more than 35 minutes. We had no-one else but Jamie Mackie up there and we played Adel off him.”
Redknapp earned a much better dividend on another of his fresh faces as Chris Samba produced a commanding display following his arrival from Russian club football.
“I asked him on Friday how he was and genuinely he said he was 40pc fit, He hadn’t played since November,” said Redknapp.
“He was back in Russia doing a couple of light days training through their winter break in Marbella, where the team was, and he came out and played and the man was a colossus. What a centre-half. Top, top centre-half.
“The chairman got Samba. Everyone is going on about Samba. You will sell Samba at the end of the season if you want to sell Samba because he should be playing for a top four team. He is a monster of a player. He is as quick as lightning. He has got the lot. He is the full ticket.
“At the end of the year, if it doesn’t go well, they will go and get £12m for Samba, not a danger. How an Arsenal has never signed Chris Samba, I don’t know. That £12m could be £14m at the end of the year because there will be managers out there who will be thinking ‘I thought he was gone, he’s back in England’. There will be takers for Samba all day.”
Redknapp also praised young on-loan midfielder Andros Townsend after raiding his old club Tottenham in a bid to try and equip the strugglers for a concerted crack at the great escape over the final months of the season.
“It is a tough job. It is a very difficult job. We just needed a little bit of luck today and if it had gone our way, we would have won,” he said. “With Samba, I thought those two were arguably the two best players on the pitch. I thought Andros did excellent.
“He is on £3,000 at Tottenham and did fantastic. He is a loan so there was no loan fee and we took two from Tottenham. £3,000 is not a lot so we took on his wages and a proportion of Jermaine’s (Jenas).”