R’S CHAIRMAN Tony Fernandes has expressed his desire for boss Harry Redknapp to remain at the helm of Queens Park Rangers regardless of which division the club are playing their football in next season.
And that stability extends to the squad also, with changes to playing personnel expected to be complimentary rather than wholesale in the summer.
“I want stability more than anything,” said Fernandes during the hour long QPR fans phone in show.
“I wanted it with Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes so it is third time lucky with Harry and I think he is the man.
“We understand each other well and he knows how committed the shareholders are. He has a great coaching staff and philosophy – he’s a fantastic man and I would love to keep him as long as he wants to stay.”
Along with Redknapp’s position if Rangers fight against relegation proves ultimately unsuccessful, much speculation has surrounded the future of some of the R’s players should the worst happen.
Whilst discussions are yet to take place on which players the manager wishes to retain next year, Fernandes is keen to build now rather than the reconstruction that has occurred over the past 18-months.
“We will have to sit down with Harry and discuss who we want to keep and who would go,” he admitted.
“Obviously there will be players that will go regardless of if we stay up or go down. We want players who can give a lot to the club for a long time. I do see players going, but I think we do have the nucleus of a good squad now which we have had to rebuild.
“Every single player who has left QPR has not stayed in the Premier League and I think that shows how much rebuilding we had to do. There will be players going but I don’t think there will be a mass exodus as we try to keep a nucleus together and build on that.”
Rangers’ hopes of Premier League survival have been severely dented during their last two outings. Two successive 3-2 defeats at Aston Villa and Fulham have kept the gap to safety at the foot of the table at seven points.
With fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic the R’s next opponents at Loftus Road on Sunday, the QPR supremo is hoping Redknapp’s team can cut out the errors of the previous two fixtures and perform for the duration of the match.
He admitted: “We need every player to play to his best. Obviously key players have made key mistakes at key times and that has let us down over the last two losses. We just need all eleven players on the pitch to put in their best.
“It is a tough old game. You can do everything right but then there are eleven players, sometimes the referee; all kinds of things come into play. I’m an old fashioned guy and if you keep doing the right things a good will turn right and the smiles will come back.”
Refusing to be downbeat about QPR’s current predicament for long, Tony insisted that relegation would not be the end of the world some are predicting.
“People who follow football and some of the journalists almost seem to enjoy creating pain and creating a bit of doubt,” the 48-year-old said whilst speaking to the show from Malaysia.
“But there is so much to be upbeat about at QPR. We have a new training ground on the way and we have come a long, long way from two-years ago. If things go wrong then that is one-year and we will bounce back and come back stronger through adversity.
“Over the years, Newcastle have been down there, Manchester United have been down there and West Ham have been down there. Many clubs have gone down - it’s not the end of the world!
“We will come back stronger, it’s not obviously what we wanted but a lot of good work has been done over in these last two-years and that good work will continue for a long time into the future of this club.”
Whilst those plans continue to be worked on behind the scenes, Fernandes’ message for now to the fans was a simple one – trust us!
“The future is bright. I know that might sound rather weird sitting one place from the bottom of the Premier League. I still think we have enough to get over the line but if we don’t then trust us. We have kept our word so far in the past one-and-a-half years and we will continue to do our best for QPR.”