Taarabt back in the fold after ‘great chat’

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Adel Taarabt could yet be included in his squad for Saturday’s west London derby at Chelsea.

They were recently involved in an extraordinary public fall-out after the manager accused Taarabt of being overweight and unfit to play.

But plans to field the Moroccan in an Under-21 game this week were scrapped after the pair held positive discussions and Taarabt then impressed in training.

And with Rangers short of options in midfield because of injuries to Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch, Redknapp has not ruled out giving Taarabt a place in the squad for the visit to Stamford Bridge.


“We had a great chat and he admitted he needed to get fitter.”

Harry Redknapp on Adel Taarabt

“It depends how many I’ve got fit. Looking at the squad, quite a few aren’t available,” Redknapp said.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in the squad. He’s trained very well and if he continues to do that he’s a player who could turn a game.

“He came to see me on Monday morning for a chat. We had a great chat and he admitted he needed to get fitter, wants to get fitter and get back in the team. That’s all I needed to hear from him.

“I thought [it’d be best to withdraw him] rather than stick him in as the only senior player – Shaun Wright-Phillips wasn’t playing – among the kids.

“He worked very hard among the first-team group and I was delighted with the way he trained and his attitude. He held his hand up and said he can get fitter.

“No-one doubts his ability. It would be a waste if he doesn’t produce it.”

Meanwhile, Redknapp has backed Rio Ferdinand after the QPR defender was fined £25,000 and banned for three matches for comments he made on Twitter.

“No-one behaves better off the pitch than Rio,” he said.

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