Redknapp: QPR are not missing McClaren

Harry Redknapp has insisted that QPR’s slump has not been caused by the loss of Steve McClaren.

The former England manager was brought in on a short-term basis to oversee pre-season training while Rangers boss Redknapp was recovering after a knee operation last summer.

McClaren left to take over at Derby in September and Wally Downes was subsequently added to QPR’s coaching team in his place.

Derby have since shot up to third in the table – one place above Redknapp’s side, who look all but out of the race for automatic promotion after losing five of their last eight matches.

Steve McClaren
McClaren had a short-term role at QPR.

But Redknapp is adamant that injuries to key players like Charlie Austin have taken their toll and that McClaren’s departure did not affect Rangers’ form.

“No. Wally has come in and done great,” he said.

“We didn’t have the injuries we had back then. Charlie was scoring every week and we were very strong.

“Steve did a great job when he was here, but after that we were okay – we beat Derby. But it’s since the injuries that we’ve suddenly had problems.

“We were relying on Charlie. He’s a handful, the crowd loved him and he went, we lost Matt Phillips and Danny Simpson, and suddenly we’ve lost three young players with lots of energy and a bit of pace about them.”

Simpson, sidelined for two months with a back problem, is in the squad for Saturday’s game at Middlesbrough, where he is likely to be among the substitutes.

Austin is closing in on a return to action following shoulder surgery, but an ankle injury will keep winger Phillips out for the rest of the season.

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