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Harry Redkapp confident QPR will not be relegated

Redknapp confident that QPR will survive… despite only winning once this season and being eight points from safety

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UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 30 December 2012

Manager Harry Redknapp came out fighting after his QPR side were beaten 3-0 at home by Liverpool.

Bottom-of-the-table Rangers put in an abject first-half performance against the Anfield club, being taken apart by two-goal Luis Suarez.

QPR head into 2013 in big trouble and eight points from safety, with Redknapp yet to kickstart the revival many expected when he got the job last month.

Plenty of work to do: Harry Redknapp has it all to do if QPR are to avoid the drop

Plenty of work to do: Harry Redknapp has it all to do if QPR are to avoid the drop

The veteran boss himself has criticised his players since taking over, particularly after the pre-Christmas loss to Newcastle, but tonight he had changed his tune.

'I still feel we'll be okay,' he told Sky Sports 1.

'I think we will look to get one or two in, there are some good lads here anyway, I think it's possible. It's my belief we'll be okay.'

Redknapp had previously said he would not encourage owner Tony Fernandes to spend next month if his side remained in trouble, but tonight gave a nod to a change in policy, believing new players could make survival possible.

Frustrated: A dejected Adel Taarabt of QPR sees another game go by without a win

Frustrated: A dejected Adel Taarabt of QPR sees another game go by without a win

'It's not easy getting players in at this stage at the bottom of the league, but if someone is up for the challenge, it's a great chance,' he said.

'We need new faces and if we get the right players we can make a real effort. We have some hard games to come but there is a long way to go. You could have 10 games to go and need 20 points and it can be done.

'Don't give up, we have to keep believing, keep going. Those that are with us are with us, those that aren't, we'll try and do something.'

Rooted to the bottom: Taarabt reacts after a chance on goal is wasted

Rooted to the bottom: Taarabt reacts after a chance on goal is wasted

The former Tottenham boss also stood by his players when asked if they had not tried against Liverpool.

Suarez went past QPR's defenders at will and Liverpool should have had more than their three, but Redknapp would not condemn his men.

'It's difficult,” he said. 'It's easy to sit there and say there's no fight. It's easy to say that. We got moved about by better players. Suarez… What can you do when he does that to Clint Hill

'I think it's easy to say it was a lack of effort. We started the season getting beat five by Swansea. You can only get the best out of what you've got.'

Adel Taarabt will stay with QPR after missing Africa Cup of Nations

Huge boost for Redknapp in relegation scrap as QPR star Taarabt misses Africa Cup of Nations

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adel Taarabt has not been included in the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations – answering QPR boss Harry Redknapp’s prayers.

Last week the playmaker defiantly announced he would travel in the event of being picked, despite Redknapp’s pleas for him to stay and help QPR avoid relegation.

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

But Taarabt, 23, appears to have now asked to be overlooked for the tournament which will take place in South Africa from
January 19 to February 2.

He can now be called on for games against
Spurs, West Ham, champions Man City and Norwich.

Just days ago he sent an impassioned appeal to Rachid Taoussi, the Moroccan coach who took charge in the summer.

‘I will do everything I can to prove to him that I deserve to be there,’ he told the African football blog on lequipe.fr.

Taarabt, who has recently advertised
himself to both AC Milan and Barcelona, also admitted his club manager
had asked him to make himself unavailable.

‘[Redknapp] came to see me to ask me
not to go, but I told him, “if they call me, I can’t refuse, boss. I
love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to
them.”

‘I warned him that the only solution
was that the coach doesn’t call me up. The coach isn’t obliged to take
me. I hope to be at the African Nations Cup but even if I’m not there,
and that would be painful, I will be the biggest Morocco supporter.’

QPR take on West Brom this afternoon and face Liverpool on Sunday at 4pm.

Boost: Harry Redknapp will be delighted the midfielder is not going

Boost: Harry Redknapp will be delighted the midfielder is not going

Adel Taarabt will not travel to African Cup of Nations

Huge boost for Redknapp in relegation scrap as QPR star Taarabt misses out on Africa Cup of Nations

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UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adel Taarabt has not been included in the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, answering QPR boss Harry Redknapp’s prayers.

Last week the playmaker defiantly announced he would travel in the event of being picked, despite Redknapp’s pleas for him to stay and help QPR avoid relegation.

But Taarabt, 23, appears to have been overlooked for the tournament which will take place in South Africa from January 19 to February 2, and can now be called on for games against Spurs, West Ham, champions Man City and Norwich.

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

Just days ago he sent an impassioned appeal to Rachid Taoussi, the Moroccan coach who took charge in the summer.

‘I will do everything I can to prove to him that I deserve to be there,’ he told the African football blog on lequipe.fr.

Taarabt, who has recently advertised
himself to both AC Milan and Barcelona, also admitted his club manager
had asked him to make himself unavailable.

‘[Redknapp] came to see me to ask me
not to go, but I told him, “if they call me, I can’t refuse, boss. I
love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to
them.”

‘I warned him that the only solution
was that the coach doesn’t call me up. The coach isn’t obliged to take
me. I hope to be at the African Nations Cup but even if I’m not there,
and that would be painful, I will be the biggest Morocco supporter.’

QPR take on West Brom this afternoon and face Liverpool on Sunday at 4pm.

Harry Redknapp hails Adel Taarabt after QPR score first win

Redknapp hails two-goal Taarabt after star midfielder helps QPR to first win

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UPDATED:

20:21 GMT, 15 December 2012

QPR boss Harry Redknapp lavished praise on Adel Taarabt after he scored twice to help Rangers to their first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

The Morocco international scored two second half goals as QPR beat local rivals Fulham 2-1 at Loftus Road to move off the foot of the table.

It was the first win under Redknapp and QPR's first league victory since they beat Stoke on May 6.

On song: Adel Taarabt struck twice as QPR scored their first victory in the league this season

On song: Adel Taarabt struck twice as QPR scored their first victory in the league this season

Taarabt was inspirational for most of the game and Redknapp enthused about his match-winning contribution.

'(He has) Fantastic ability, he was amazing today,' said Redknapp.

'He is an amazing talent, we all know that and we have all seen it since I went to Tottenham, no-one ever doubted his ability or his talent.

'I decided I had to get him in a position where he wants to play.

'He has been playing off the left but today I played him in the hole, off the front man and tried to get him between the lines – play little balls in those holes to him and every time he got the ball they were in trouble.'

Rangers dominated for much of the game but conceded a late goal through a deflected Mladen Petric strike and Redknapp admitted the goal led to a tense final few moments at Loftus Road.

'We deserved it (the win),' he said. 'I thought we were the better team and it would have been a travesty if we had conceded another goal in those hectic couple of minutes went they pushed (Brede) Hangeland up and bombed it into our box.

'When you have not won, psychologically the players must have been thinking “oh my God” when they have got the goal and they think an equaliser is going to come, it must have been difficult.

'It was difficult for me watching that last four minutes and they must have felt the same but we hung in there and got the result we deserved.'

Impressed: Harry Redknapp (left) was delighted with the mighty Moroccan

Impressed: Harry Redknapp (left) was delighted with the mighty Moroccan

The result moves QPR onto 10 points and above Reading into 19th place and Redknapp felt it was a necessity to end the winless run before they were cut adrift.

'At least it keeps us in there, if we hadn't won today it would have been absolutely desperate,' he said.

'It is going to be tough, we are not going to kid ourselves but we have had one win but we are on a good run, we have had four games and taken six points.

'If you can take six points from every four games you will stay up – hopefully that can kick-start our season now and keep us going.'

Former Tottenham boss Redknapp was congratulated by his chairman Tony Fernandes at full-time and dedicated the victory to the Malaysian.

'I met him today for the first time, he came down and he was delighted – he was so pleased,' he said.

'The people here deserve it – as I've said a million times they are nice people and they deserve that win today so that was good, I was delighted for them today.'

Fernandes said at the end of the match that he was glad to pick up a first league win of the campaign and likened it to winning the league.

'I am a very relieved man. That is the best Christmas present ever,' he said.

That's more like it: QPR chief Tony Fernandes was very happy with the win

That's more like it: QPR chief Tony Fernandes was very happy with the win

'It was a great team effort, they deserved it. We've been threatening for a while and what a way to get the winning goal.

'It is looking good and we're undefeated under Harry. I feel like I have won the championship.'

Fulham boss Martin Jol felt the majority of his players who played well in Monday's 2-1 win at home to Newcastle had not turned up at Loftus Road.

'I'm very disappointed with our style of play – I can complain about the goals but especially first half we never looked to earn the right to use our quality,' he said.

'We looked a bit rigid. On Monday we had players in midfield, like they had Adel today, they need to travel and do something extra.

'We didn't do the simple things or play in the flow. I wanted to give 10 of the 11 players who played last week the chance to do it again but there were too many players not there.'

The Dutchman also felt the defending from his side could have been better for both of Taarabt's goals.

'The second goal for example was very cheap and easy and the second was a deflection.

We tried to get in their half and the passing was sloppy and they could break us away from home. Our two central midfield players could never get up the pitch and support.'

Tony Fernandes has said QPR"s first win of the season is like the "best Christmas present ever"

'The best Christmas present ever' Fernandes delights at QPR's first win of the season

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UPDATED:

18:18 GMT, 15 December 2012

Chairman Tony Fernandes tonight hailed QPR ending their winless league run at the 17th attempt as 'the best Christmas present ever'.

Adel Taarabt's brace proved the difference for Harry Redknapp's side as they saw off west London neighbours Fulham 2-1 at Loftus Road.

Fernandes was in Shepherd's Bush to witness the victory firsthand and could not hide his delight at the final whistle.

Delighted: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has said today's win over Fulham was 'the best Christmas present ever'

Delighted: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has said today's win over Fulham was 'the best Christmas present ever'

'I am very relieved man,' he said. 'That is the best Christmas present ever.

'That is all I wanted for Christmas – three points. It was a great performance, it was awesome. I think Fulham only had one shot and they scored that goal.

Inspired: QPR's victory was inspired by Adel Taarabt who scored both goals in the 2-1 win

Inspired: QPR's victory was inspired by Adel Taarabt (right) who scored both goals in the 2-1 win

'It was a great team effort, they deserved it.

'We've been threatening for a while and what a way to get the winning goal.

'Adel was awesome, the defence played well and everyone put their heart into it.

'It is looking good and we're undefeated under Harry. I feel like I have won the championship.'

Harry Redknapp thinks Queens Park Rangers can beat relegation

Redknapp optimistic that scrappy QPR can beat drop after stopping the rot at Sunderland

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UPDATED:

00:54 GMT, 28 November 2012

New QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes he has the players to scramble out of trouble after picking up a point in his first game with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland last night.

Redknapp said: 'This was good for us. You can only work with what you've got, we can't pluck anyone out of the air, so we just have to get the best out of players I have.

'We came in on Sunday and on Monday I picked the team and worked with the shape. I thought the midfield looked strong and powerful and they have bags of ability. There were some good points to come from it.'

Welcome back: Harry Redknapp was on the touchline for the first time for Queens Park Rangers

Welcome back: Harry Redknapp was on the touchline for the first time for Queens Park Rangers

Redknapp added: 'I certainly feel a lot more optimistic than I did on Saturday night (after watching QPR lose at Manchester United), that's for sure.

'We worked hard. I was really pleased with how we defended.

'When we had to, we denied them opportunities and we had several ourselves so there were a lot of positives.

'It is going to be tough. We can't kid ourselves but we will look at positives. I can see there are some decent players who need to be a team and if we can get them working together then we must have a chance.'

Rangers now face Villa – whose win against Reading last night took them out of the relegation zone – at Loftus Road on Saturday and Redknapp believes the fans will have a crucial role to play in their survival fight.

Flair player: Adel Taarabt was reunited with former Spurs boss Radknapp

Flair player: Adel Taarabt was reunited with former Spurs boss Radknapp

Powerful: Redknapp was pleased with the strength of players like Samba Diakite (left)

Powerful: Redknapp was pleased with the strength of players like Samba Diakite (left)

He said: 'It's a big game. I see a lot of similarities with Portsmouth, which is the same type of stadium. We have to make Loftus Road intimidating, show we can have a real go and get the fans right behind us.'

Sunderland never recovered from the sixth-minute substitution of captain Lee Cattermole who will have a scan on his knee amid fears he has damaged medial ligaments.

Up for a scrap Djibril Cisse will need to produce some goals to propel QPR out of the bottom three

Up for a scrap Djibril Cisse will need to produce some goals to propel QPR out of the bottom three

That's handy: Redknapp gestures to his players from the touchline

That's handy: Redknapp gestures to his players from the touchline

The home side, who are now level on points with Villa, created only two chances for Steven Fletcher, who was denied by Julio Cesar and then Robert Green after the Brazilian keeper suffered a groin injury which forced him off at the break.

Sunderland have now won only four of their last 27 games and are in danger of being dragged into the relegation battle themselves.

Manager Martin O'Neill said: 'We knew they would be buoyed by Harry's arrival and it was a tough night. You can feel the crowd getting edgy. We have to tough it out.'

'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.'

Adel Taarabt says he will refuse to play alongside Joey Barton

It's him or me! Pressure on Hughes as Taarabt set to refuse to play alongside Barton

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UPDATED:

13:19 GMT, 1 June 2012

Adel Taarabt has heaped pressure on QPR's hierarchy to get rid of Joey Barton, after he said he would not play alongside the midfielder.

Barton disgraced himself on the final day of the season against Manchester City. The former City player was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez, and was handed a 12 game ban for then striking out at Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany.

Disgraced: Joey Barton (right) marred the final day of the season with his conduct

Disgraced: Joey Barton (right) marred the final day of the season with his conduct

Rangers will conclude an internal investigation into Barton's behaviour over the next week, after the 29-year-old was also fined 75,000 by the FA.

If QPR wish to sack Barton, they will have to pay out the remainder of his contract – almost 11million – as they are unlikely to find legal justification for terminating it outright.

Mates Mark Hughes must choose between Adel Taarabt (left) and Barton (right)

Mates Mark Hughes must choose between Adel Taarabt (left) and Barton (right)

It is suggested that Barton's actions have caused a rift between Barton and other players, and Taarabt led the charge against his team-mate.

According to the Evening Standard, Taarabt will refuse to play alongside Barton once he serves his ban, and the two have not been speaking to one another for several months.

Barton is believed to have flown into tackles on the Moroccan after growing impatient with his indifferent approachto training.

Fall-out: Barton (centre) and Taarabt do not get along

Fall-out: Barton (centre) and Taarabt do not get along

Both players are no strangers to controversy. Misconduct has consistently followed Barton throughout his career, starting when he stubbed a cigar out in James Tandy's eye at Manchester City.

Taarabt, on the other hand, stormed out of QPR's dressing room at half-time during their 6-0 hammering by Fulham.

Barton criticised Taarabt after the game, and said: 'I came here and was told he was a genius but I’m yet to see it.

'I don’t know whether that is because he doesn’t work hard enough or that he tends to sulk'

Taarabt has made it clear that he will not play alongside Barton any longer.

Manager Mark Hughes will have a real problem shifting Barton, not just because of his misconduct, but because no other team is likely to be willing to meet his 70,000 per week salary.

Hughes is also set to talk to other squad members to gauge their stance on the controversial midfielder.

Wolfsburg want Adel Taarabt from QPR

Wolfsburg hope to lure Taarabt from QPR in cut-price 4.5m deal

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UPDATED:

21:18 GMT, 21 May 2012

Wolfsburg have revived their interest in QPR’s Adel Taarabt.

The German side wanted the 22-year-old in January when he was valued at 8million.

Wanted: Adel Taarabt (right) could be set for a switch to Germany this summer

Wanted: Adel Taarabt (right) could be set for a switch to Germany this summer

But Taarabt has just a year left on his contract and they hope to sign him for 4.5m.

Meanwhile, QPR keeper Paddy Kenny will hold talks with Leeds next week. Leeds are also keen on Derby midfielder Paul Green, 29.

WIN Chelsea v QPR tickets

WIN tickets to see Chelsea v QPR – courtesy of Thomas Cook Sport

UPDATED:

16:01 GMT, 25 April 2012

WIN tickets to see Liverpool v Manchester City - courtesy of Thomas Cook Sport

Sportsmail has teamed up with Thomas Cook Sport, official travel partner of Chelsea, to offer FIVE lucky fans the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Blues' Barclays Premier League clash against QPR on Sunday April 29.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question:

Which QPR midfielder used to play for Chelsea
A) Shaun Wright-Phillips
B) Joey Barton
C) Adel Taarabt

E-mail your answer, along with your name, address and contact number to:

[email protected]

to arrive by 12noon on Thursday April 26.

PLEASE NOTE: You must validate your entry with the words THOMAS COOK CHELSEA COMP in your subject box; the tickets are for HOME FANS ONLY and do not include travel to/from the ground, accommodation or hospitality; normal Associated Newspapers terms and conditions apply – the Editor's decision is final. UK residents only.

Thomas Cook Sport is the UK’s leading sports tour operator and official travel partner of Chelsea Football Club, offering Match Breaks to Chelsea fans for the remainder of the season. Match Breaks for the Newcastle game are still available for just 129, visit www.thomascooksport.com or call the sales team on 0844 800 9900.

You can also follow us on Twitter @thomascooksport and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/ThomasCookSportUK to keep up-to-date with all the latest competitions, special offers and news.

QPR 1 Tottenham 0: Adel Taarabt continues Spurs collapse before red card

QPR 1 Tottenham 0: Taarabt scores the winner before being sent off against imploding former club

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UPDATED:

18:43 GMT, 21 April 2012

Adel Taarabt, the man Harry Redknapp once described as a 'fruitcake', lived up to his bad-boy reputation by scoring the winner and then getting sent off as QPR inflicted yet more misery on sorry Tottenham at Loftus Road.

Taarabt, who left Spurs to join QPR two years ago, came back to haunt his former boss by curling home a wonderful first-half free-kick to boost QPR's survival hopes and put a severe dent in Tottenham's Champions League hopes.

The Moroccan lived up to his firebrand billing in the second half when he received a second booking for kicking the ball away.

Breakthrough: Adel Taarabt celebrates after scoring in the first half

Breakthrough: Adel Taarabt celebrates after scoring in the first half

Off you go: Mark Clattenburg sent off Taarabt after a long delay

Off you go: Mark Clattenburg sent off Taarabt after a long delay

MATCH FACTS

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Diakite (Buzsaky 69), Derry, Taarabt, Mackie, Barton, Zamora

Subs not used: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Helguson, Cisse

Booked: Taarabt, Zamora, Onuoha, Hill

Sent off: Taarabt

Goal: Taarabt 24

Tottenham:
Friedel, Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto (Rose 66), Parker (Giovani
84), Sandro (Lennon 46) Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe

Subs not used: Cudicini, Khumalo, Smith, Livermore

Referee: Clattenburg

Attendance: 18,021

Taarabt's actions will be forgotten by
QPR boss Mark Hughes, though, as the forward's goal means his team are
three points clear of the drop zone.

QPR thoroughly deserved their fourth
successive home victory as they had more spirit, creativity and energy
than a desperately lacklustre Spurs, who are now fifth in the Barclays
Premier League table – some three points behind Newcastle with only four
games of the campaign left.

Redknapp's team have now won just once in their last nine league games and their campaign looks set to end in failure.

Apart from the 12 minutes in which QPR
had 10 men, a home win looked on the cards throughout and Rangers
should have perhaps won by more.

The hosts stamped their authority on the game from kick-off.

Jamie Mackie in particular started
brightly, taking the ball off Luka Modric and slipping past Benoit
Assou-Ekotto and Gareth Bale before firing wide.

Steady: Taarabt fires home from a free-kick

Steady: Taarabt fires home from a free-kick

Gathering: The Moroccan celebrates with QPR coaching staff

Gathering: The Moroccan celebrates with QPR coaching staff

Tottenham, racked with nerves, played like anything but a top-four side in the opening 10 minutes.

Kyle Walker and Friedel were involved in a mix-up that almost gifted Rangers an easy opener.

They were also lacking going forward.
After being out-muscled in midfield they had to resort to a long-ball
game – something that was never going to work with the diminutive
Jermain Defoe leading the line.

Samba Diakite made a mockery of the
Spurs defence early on by coasting past Modric to slip in to the box but
he dragged his shot wide.

Not there yet: Mark Hughes watched as his players celebrated the opener

Not there yet: Mark Hughes watched as his players celebrated the opener

Outfought: Scott Parker could not help Tottenham secure a point

Outfought: Scott Parker could not help Tottenham secure a point

Spurs momentarily came back in to the
game with Paddy Kenny saving brilliantly from Bale and Rafael van der
Vaart in quick succession, but their resurgence was short-lived as
Rangers took the lead.

Mark Clattenburg blew for what
appeared to be a handball against Sandro 25 yards out and Taarabt curled
the ball over the wall and in to the bottom corner past a despondent
Friedel, who perhaps should have done better.

Bale scooped a lovely ball over the
QPR back four to find Defoe but Nedum Onuoha put in a crucial block as
Spurs looked for an instant reply.

Van der Vaart rifled a half-volley at goal and Kenny's parry fell in to Defoe's path but he could only nod over.

QPR ended the first half on top.

Taarabt had time to subject
Assou-Ekotto to a series of teasing step-overs on the touchline before
the break and Joey Barton's deflected shot sailed over.

Struggle: Bobby Zamora cannot get away from Sandro

Struggle: Bobby Zamora cannot get away from Sandro

After seeing his team booed off by
their own fans at half-time, Redknapp brought on Aaron Lennon for Sandro
at to add a bit of width, but still Spurs struggled to get in to the
game.

Diakite muscled his way past Scott Parker and William Gallas before burying a shot in to the side-netting.

Bobby Zamora wasted a good chance to
seal the game in the 68th minute when Gallas allowed him room but the
former Spurs striker dallied, allowing substitute Danny Rose to put in a
crucial block.

Redknapp opted to switch Lennon and
Bale – a move that went down terribly with the away fans, who sang:
'Gareth Bale, he plays on the left.'

Onuoha caught Parker's trailing leg,
but Clattenburg waved play on. Barton insisted that Parker had dived to
earn a free-kick and pushed the England captain.

Taarabt plunged his team's victory in to doubt with 12 minutes to go when he kicked the ball away to earn a second booking.

Harry for England Tottenham have been playing particularly badly after the England manager's job became available

Harry for England Tottenham have been playing particularly badly after the England manager's job became available

Tussle: Benoit Assou-Ekotto vies with Jamie Mackie

Tussle: Benoit Assou-Ekotto vies with Jamie Mackie

Modric stung Kenny's hands as
Tottenham looked to use their numerical advantage and Redknapp brought
on Giovani Dos Santos for Parker.

Anton Ferdinand headed Bale's cross away at the near post as Spurs piled on the pressure in the closing minutes.

Dos Santos drew a good save from Kenny in the final minute and Van der Vaart tested the stopper again in injury time.

Five minutes of added time were called
but despite their best efforts Spurs could not find an equaliser and
they ended the day outside the top four for the first time since
November.