Redknapp warns players of task
Updated: Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012 07:07
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has warned his players not to be fooled by a solid start to his reign.
Redknapp emerged from his opening fixture with a well-deserved point as his side responded to the challenge presented to them to secure a 0-0 draw at Sunderland.
However, they will head into Saturday's home clash with Aston Villa still awaiting their first Barclays Premier League victory of the campaign and having collected just five points, remain rooted to the foot of the table.
Asked if he was more optimistic as a result of the display on Wearside, Redknapp said: "It's going to be tough, we mustn't kid ourselves.
"You look at the position we are in - it's very, very difficult. But I can see there are some decent players there.
"We need to play as a team and be a team and if we can put them together and get them to work together, we have got a chance."
Rangers may not have collected that elusive first victory but they can leave the north east with their heads held high after a spirited performance.
They might have collected all three had home keeper Simon Mignolet not managed to keep out first-half efforts from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie and then a third from substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips at the death.
However, they needed Julio Cesar and half-time replacement Rob Green to deny Steven Fletcher, the only man to really threaten to answer the pleas of the home fans to attack the side rooted to the foot of the table.
Redknapp has already been linked with a lengthening list of potential transfer targets with onlookers anticipating a January spending spree, but in the meantime, he is concentrating only on the players he inherited from predecessor Mark Hughes.
He said: "You can only work with what you have got, can't you? I can't pluck anyone out of the air at the moment.
"You can't bring anybody in, you have just got to get the best out of the players who are here.
"It was a good point. We worked hard in training yesterday on how we were going to play, and I thought we got the best out of what we had, and you can't do anymore than that."
QPR's point, however, came at a cost as Brazilian Julio Cesar tore a groin late in the first half.
Redknapp said: "He did his groin, he tore a groin. He's a good pro, I have been impressed with him as a boy. You can see why he has played at the very, very top and what he's done in the game.
"But he went off and then Rob made a great save when he came on, so we are lucky there, we have got two good keepers."
If Redknapp was able to look towards the weekend with a measure of confidence restored, opposite number Martin O'Neill, who had owner and chairman Ellis Short watching from the stands three days after the club was forced to deny rumours that he had offered to quit, cut a disconsolate figure.
He said: "It was a rather frustrating evening, I think frustration would sum it up.
"It was tough for us. Losing Cattermole so early on in the game disrupted us somewhat, but even so, that's a handicap you have to overcome.
"It was just a frustrating evening."
Cattermole, who shook off a knee injury to start, departed with just seven minutes played having damaged the other knee in a 50-50 challenge with Samba Diakite.
The Northern Irishman said: "It was his other knee that he hurt, funnily enough, in the block challenge and as we speak now, he's in a lot of pain, so that would be a blow to us if that was the case.
"It seemed as if it was the same knee - I thought immediately that was the case - but it's not, it's his other knee."