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