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Redknapp: Players had a chance and blew it
Harry Redknapp said the humiliating FA Cup defeat at home to MK Dons proved QPR need to spend before the transfer deadline because some of his players cannot be relied upon.
Redknapp left out a number of first-choice players but his line-up still included names with pedigree, such as Esteban Granero and a faded Ji-sung Park.
Yet the League One outfit strolled to a 4-2 victory – a final scoreline which flattered Redknapp’s side.
And the R’s boss said: “I gave them a chance because some of them have been knocking at my door saying they should play and with others I’ve been told they’re good players. Well I gave them a chance and they blew it.
“You know what? It answers questions. Not for me – I knew the answers. But it maybe answers questions for those who didn’t know.
“People think they should be playing and their agents think they should be getting a chance. Well they had their chance.
“I’ve said all along we need to improve. That’s why I’ve traipsed all over Europe trying to sign players.
“I’ll go home with the raving hump. I didn’t pick a team to lose, I picked a team that should have been able to beat MK Dons.”
Rangers had chances in the first half, with Armand Traore and Jamie Mackie going close.
But their shoddy defending was punished twice, putting the visitors firmly in control by the interval.
“At half-time I couldn’t feel too upset with them,” said Redknapp.
“I thought we played well in the first half but gave two diabolical goals away and found ourselves 2-0 down.
“We came out second half, their third goal was offside but that’s no excuse, and the fourth was sloppy from us as well.
“Their first two goals gave us a mountain to climb and we couldn’t climb it.” West London Sport
The list of humiliations suffered by Queens Park Rangers this season is so extensive that it is difficult to know precisely where this galling humiliation at the hands of MK Dons ranks, while at least Harry Redknapp could take solace that this was far from his strongest side.
With QPR adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, the FA Cup is far from their most pressing concern and the nine changes made from last Saturday's draw at West Ham reflected that, but nonetheless this was another chastening experience for Redknapp's players.
The final score gave the defeat a sheen of respectability, Jay Bothroyd and Fábio da Silva grabbing late goals, and made the match look much closer than it was. The reality was rather more troubling for Redknapp. Against a side two divisions below them, QPR were nothing short of an abject disgrace and when Darren Potter's delicious curler from 15 yards put Dons 4-0 up after 56 minutes, there was the serious prospect of Karl Robinson's side running riot. In the end, four goals were more than enough and MK fully merit their place in the fifth round.
Redknapp, who could not hide his embarrassment, lamented the "diabolical" defending that allowed Dons to go in at the break with a 2-0 lead but the QPR manager felt that the side he picked should have fared better. He had a point: Esteban Granero was a title winner with Real Madrid last season and Park Ji-sung won four league titles with Manchester United. Yet few players on the home side toiled as much as the South Korean, who was jeered by QPR's fans when he was put out of his misery by Redknapp in the second half.
"Surely you can beat a team from two divisions down," Redknapp said. "What does it tell me? Like I've said all along I need to improve the squad. We're bottom of the league because we deserve to be there. We need to improve and that's what we'll try to do over the next week. I gave them a chance. Other people tell me they're all good players. Well, they got the chance today and they blew it. I'll go home tonight with the raging hump. The team should be able to beat MK Dons. They've all been signed to play Premier League football."
The early signs had been promising for QPR and Dons were relieved to see the flag go up for offside when DJ Campbell beat David Martin after two minutes. Yet the air of optimism around Loftus Road was punctured by Dons' next attack. Shaun Williams swung in a corner from the right, Dean Lewington took advantage of woeful marking at the near post and his flick went in off Armand Traoré. Lewington claimed it but Traoré's touch might have been decisive.
"His celebration to me looked like someone who didn't know where the ball went," Robinson said of Lewington. "If you score at a Premier League ground you're jumping around like a lunatic. I'm going to give him a goal. He's not on a goal bonus so he can have it."
To their credit, QPR's response to falling behind was strong and Martin had to save well from Traoré and Jamie Mackie, and the visitors' task was made harder when they lost their centre-back Gary MacKenzie to a hamstring injury after 20 minutes. They overcame that setback, though, and five minutes before half-time they doubled their lead. It was an appalling goal to concede. Anton Ferdinand had an age to deal with a hopeful punt forward from Antony Kay but the defender got caught underneath the flight of the ball, allowing Ryan Lowe to run through and drill a low shot past Robert Green.
The mood turned poisonous and QPR, their confidence shot to pieces, collapsed. There was a hint of offside about Dons' third goal as Lowe was released by Jon Otsemobor but this time the flag stayed down and Ryan Harley could hardly miss from three yards out. With basic skills such as marking, putting pressure on the ball and tracking runners seemingly beyond QPR's rabble, Dons looked like scoring with each attack and six minutes later Potter effectively ended the match as a contest after Harley's free-kick was only half-cleared.
QPR did improve when Bobby Zamora was thrown on and goals from Bothroyd and Fábio in the last seven minutes had Dons' nerves jangling.
"We played with no fear," Robinson said. "Getting into the fifth round made it a bit more special. We felt we could come here and get a result."
Manchester City will probably take a similar view when they come here on Tuesday night.
|MK Dons Official Site|
Karl: Remarkable achievement
Karl Robinson referred to his side’s victory over QPR as a ‘remarkable achievement’, after the Dons made it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with Budweiser.
Robinson’s men ran-out 4-2 winners at Loftus Road in front of 3,155 travelling Dons supporters, with goals from Dean Lewington, Ryan Lowe, Ryan Harley and Darren Potter helping to cause one of the biggest upsets of the competition so far.
Two late strikes from Rangers forward Jay Bothroyd and Manchester United loanee Fabio da Silva reduced the margin of victory, but didn’t affect the outcome as the Dons booked their place in the hat for the last 16 draw.
And when speaking after the game, Robinson was keen to praise both his players and the fans, who coupled together to create a memorable afternoon for the Football Club.
The 32-year-old said: “Today was a remarkable achievement by all involved. Both the players and the fans deserved this today and it’s a tremendous reward for all the effort and hard-work they’ve both put in.
“Football fans get a lot of stick nowadays and days like today are a massive outlay financially for the fans so we are extremely thankful for the support. It just shows, though, when we can get a big turnout, like we did today, the players won’t let you down.
“We felt like we had to play a certain way. We knew in the first half that they would have a lot of the ball, with both Granero and Faurlin keen to get on it. We wanted to make sure we weren’t out of the game by half-time and so we didn’t press them and didn’t allow them to get in behind us.
“I don’t think we deserved to be 2-0 up at half-time but I felt we deserved to win the game. I knew there was more in us and we showed it in the second half. To come to a Premier League team and put on a show like we did in the second half is brilliant.
“I’m not too worried about conceding them two goals late on. It might be different if it was a League game but it’s all about getting through in the Cup and we did that.
“Today is a great day and we’ll enjoy it. It’s a day that will live with all of us, I’m sure, for a long, long time.” MK Dons
QPR 2, MK DONS 4
HARRY Redknapp had a day to forget as his Queens Park Rangers side were deservedly dumped out of the FA Cup by League One outfit Milton Keynes Dons today.
An unfamiliar starting eleven, with nine changes from their last Premier League encounter, Rangers were outclassed by their lower league opposition who were good value for their 4-2 win.
Rangers exit leaves them to concentrate on their main objective, Premier League survival, with a difficult tie against Manchester City awaiting them next.
The R’s nearly took the lead inside the first minute when DJ Campbell smashed the ball past keeper David Martin from six-yards following Jay Bothroyd’s knock down, but the R’s striker was clearly offside.
However, just three minutes later and the Dons were leading at Loftus Road. A corner from the right was drilled low and hard towards the near post and with MK Dons Dean Lewington and Rangers Armand Traore contesting for the ball it squeezed its way past Rob Green to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Lowe then tested Green from distance for the Dons before Fabio sliced wide on the turn at the other end after lifting the ball over his shoulder. Campbell was next up to test Martin, after the R’s kept good possession, he saw his deflected shot from just inside the box loop into the outstretched keepers’ arms.
A header from Tal Ben Haim from Esteban Granero’s corner found the hands of Martin before Traore’s mazy run from inside his own half deserved better when his cross was hung up but headed behind for a corner.
Jamie Mackie went close to levelling the score in the 33rd minute when a delightful through ball from Bothroyd sent Mackie in on goal, but custodian Martin was courageous for the visitors and charged down his lunge.
Rangers were then left shell shocked five minutes before half-time when they found themselves 2-0 down to MK Dons. Jon Ostemobor launched a diagonal ball forward catching Anton Ferdinand out and with Ryan Lowe latching onto the pass he coolly beat Green to leave Rangers with a mountain to climb in the second half.
If QPR were hoping to mount a second half comeback their hopes seem to disappear five minutes in when MK Dons made it 3-0. Ryan Lowe raced down the right and although his touch was heavy, he just managed to stop the ball from going out of play. The former Bury striker cut the ball back across the face of Green’s goal and with substitute Ryan Harley unmarked he was left with the simplest of finishes inside the six-yard box.
Soon after and it was game over as QPR went 4-0 down. Harley’s free-kick from the left was not dealt with by the R’s defence as the ball fell to Alan Smith who was allowed to tee up Darren Potter to slam the ball past a despairing Rob Green.
Rangers survived conceding a fifth when Ferdinand slipped with Bowditch baring down on him. That allowed the Dons forward to close in on goal and force Green to make a one handed save 15 minutes from time.
QPR did reduce the arrears seven minutes from time when Jay Bothroyd headed in from close range thanks to an assist from substitute Bobby Zamora.
Bothroyd then nearly returned the favour when his flick on for Zamora saw the returning forward – back after three months out – drilled wide of the left-hand post from 12-yards.
Fabio grabbed a second for QPR in stoppage time to make it 4-2 as he connected at the back post but it was too little too late as the final whistle sounded and MK Dons players celebrated a memorable FA Cup win for their side. QPR on the other hand will wish to forget as they are left to now concentrate on their main objective, Premier League survival.
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