• Premier League

Redknapp: Only a real dope could mess it up at Chelsea

ESPN staff
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Harry Redknapp has spiced things up ahead of his meeting with Rafael Benitez on Wednesday © Getty Images
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Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has joked that there was no way Rafael Benitez could fail at Chelsea given the quality at his disposal.

Benitez took charge of Chelsea in November and, after taking two points from his first three league games, including a 3-1 defeat at West Ham, appears to have put the European champions back on course.

Ahead of the West London derby between the teams at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, Redknapp suggested there had been little doubt Benitez would turn the club's fortunes around.

"He has walked into a squad of players there who are Champions League winners," he said. "You've got a chance, haven't you? You'd have to be a real dope to mess it up with that group of players - [Eden] Hazard, [Juan] Mata, [Frank] Lampard...

"He's a clever guy. Even in the West Ham game that they lost, they could have been out of sight at half-time."

Redknapp returned to management three days after Benitez but has, as yet, failed to instigate any significant upturn in results.

QPR claimed their first win of the season when they beat Fulham 2-1 on December 15 but have not taken a point from any of their three games since. It is expected that the club will return to the transfer market this month, but Redknapp feels the majority of his players are working hard to lift the club from the foot of the table.

"Since I've been here... I think they were all looking to blame each other for the horrendous start, but most have been fine and worked hard," he said. "We now need to find that little bit of quality somehow that can make the difference to us."

He added: "Our two centre-halves have given everything - but they're both 35. No disrespect, but Ryan Nelsen came here as fourth choice. He said he would give it a go for another year and play a few games if needed.

"I took him to Tottenham last year on the same basis. He's been fantastic here, but he's played every game since I got the job.

"Clint Hill has done great - he went out on loan last year to Nottingham Forest and has done a good job - but we're short and need a bit more and I've got to find one or two if I can."

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