Redknapp fumes at Hoops defending

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Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Harry Redknapp was scathing about QPR’s defensive performance as his players were confronted by angry travelling fans at the final whistle

QPR went down 2-1 to Burnley at a freezing Turf Moor to equal a record that has stood for 50 years – not since Sunderland in 1965 has a top-flight team lost their first 10 away games of the season.

Scott Arfield and Danny Ings scored for the Clarets, either side of a Charlie Austin penalty, to leave QPR in the bottom three.

Redknapp said: ” I thought we were right in the game and that Burnley had lost their way a bit and then we have given an horrendous goal away. It was a shocking second goal, we have to defend better in that situation and it cost us dearly.

“The conditions weren’t easy but defenders have to defend. For the first goal we had three men around their guy – we’re not talking about Lionel Messi are we – and he’s gone past three of us far too easy.

“The second goal was poor defending too. The ball dropped between two of us [Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker] and you have got to clear the ball or get your body in the way, you’ve got to be stronger, you can’t give goals away like that.”

At the final whistle, Dunne was involved in an angry exchange of words with travelling QPR fans and the Irish defender had to be dragged away by goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock, with team-mates Joey Barton and Leroy Fer apparently also trying to intervene.

“Someone said something to Richard Dunne that was all,” added Redknapp. “Kevin Hitchcock went and took Dunny away – someone just got the hump. He didn’t go to have a row with anyone – he just went over and started applauding and someone had a go.”

Redknapp – without Rio Ferdinand available due to a groin strain – said he was so short of numbers up front he gambled on Adel Taarabt, who has not played since October.

“He has trained okay and I have not got a lot of options up front – I only have two strikers at the club, Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin, and Bobby couldn’t train yesterday, his back was sore. I took a gamble and threw in Adel and I thought he did alright and worked hard.”

Asked about the unwanted record, he added: “No one is more disappointed than me but it’s hard to win away. Seven or eight of that team were playing last year in the Championship and finished miles behind Burnley and 20 points behind Leicester so we can’t get carried away about who we are. We are scrapping away with the other clubs down there.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche hailed Arfield’s goal as one of the best of the season so far.

He said: “Scotty Arfield’s goal was absolutely tremendous – if that had been Alexis Sanchez that gets showed 1,000 times over the weekend. We’ll be lucky if we get 50 but joking apart we are happy with that, we stay under (the) radar.

“But that was an absolutely top-drawer goal, two nutmegs and a fine finish using one of their players as a screen to just shape it around.”

Dyche said both teams should be praised for coping with the strong winds and sleet.

He added: “Both sides deserve credit because the conditions were atrocious, the wind was playing havoc and both sides tried to play.

“We could have had the game under control more easily, that said QPR never stopped coming and we didn’t have that final finish and their keeper made two absolutely fantastic saves.

“There is a long way to go yet but we are developing and becoming more clinical in the final third. Our mantra has always been one game at a time, it was a very good performance today and the players handled it very well.”

Published: Saturday 10th January 2015 by The News Editor

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