McCarthy: Huge Pressure on Harry and QPR
Saturday, 11th Jan 2014 06:03
Boss Mick McCarthy believes there’s “huge pressure” on QPR boss Harry Redknapp and his squad to get back into the Premier League at the first attempt. Rangers are currently third in the Championship, 10 points and three places above the Blues.
“There’s huge pressure,” McCarthy said. “I think everybody expects Ipswich to be in this league, at least, and probably look at the squad of players and expect to be in the Championship, at least.
“People look at Harry’s squad and people expect them to be in the Premier League, at least. They’ll want to do it top two. The play-offs are horrible for all of us, to be fair. We all want to be in them and nobody wants to lose them.”
The Town boss says Redknapp’s squad has Premier League quality running through it: “[Rob Green] the goalkeeper, Simpson at right-back, Assou-Ekotto, Dunne, Onuoha, Barton, Karl Henry played in the Premier League with me at Wolves, Tom Carroll from Spurs, Andrew Johnson, they’ve got plenty to pick from.
“Bobby Zamora was playing up front the last time we played, Shaun Wright-Phillips and also Matt Phillips have both played in the Premier League, and then there’s the man from Blackburn, Junior Hoilett, who got injured.
“Each and every one of them have played Premier League football in the last 12 months or so, except Charlie Austin, I’d guess.
“They’ve just got good players and good quality and if they perform on any given day I think they can beat anybody in the league, but that is the league.
“That could be said about Yeovil and Doncaster and Barnsley, who are in the bottom three. On any given day, as we saw with Barnsley, they came here and slapped us in the second half. It’s about being prepared, having everything right and going out on the pitch.”
Despite the strength of their squad, QPR have won only one of their last five games, but McCarthy doesn’t read too much into that recent run: “I could reverse that, I wonder if they’re happy playing us in the form that we’re in.
“I think on any given day, a team full of such quality can turn it on. It can just happen for them because they’ve got good quality.
“The only reason I’d be looking forward to playing QPR now is because we’ve been playing well, we’ve been having good results and we’re in good form. I wouldn’t want to play them if we were playing badly.”
The Town boss says he knows his QPR opposite number well: “I’ve known Harry a long time, he’s been in the game longer than me as a manager and as a player.
“I’ve been in it for 21 years [as a manager] and Harry’s always been around. He’s a good guy, Harry. He’s always amiable and sociable and good with the other managers. He’s good with his time, I like Harry.”
McCarthy felt there was little in the 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road in August, debutant sub Tom Hitchcock netting a final minute winner: “I thought we were better than them in the first half, I think they shaded it in the second, they were better than us.
“I would have said a point would have been a fair result on the performances, but we just dropped asleep in the last minute, which was bitterly, bitterly disappointing because I thought we’d played well.”
Does he expect QPR to fight off the likes of Burnley and Leicester and make one of the automatic promotion places? “Burnley have just bought striker Ashley Barnes from Brighton. I think he’s a good addition to their squad.
“I think they were one of the best teams that we’ve played. I think Leicester and Burnley, they were the two best sides. I thought Bournemouth were a good side, actually.
“I think the difference between QPR and the others is that they are full of Championship players breaking their necks to get into the Premier League and maybe some of them haven’t even been there, although some of them will have.
“I think QPR are full of real quality players who have been in the Premier League for a long time. I think there is a slight difference.”
He added: “Harry’s looking to bring players in, he’s got a good squad as it is. It’ll be a scrap.
"Would I put any money on who’s going to go up? If I was going to put money on any of them I’d put it on Leicester to be a certainty and then the rest, I’ve no idea.”
Photo: Action Images
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