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What they said: Redknapp needs a miracle to avoid drop

ESPN staff
April 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Harry Redknapp is hoping his QPR squad will answer his prayers and perform a miracle to avoid relegation © Getty Images
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QPR manager Harry Redknapp admitted that his side would need a miracle to escape Premier League relegation after seeing them suffer a 2-0 defeat to Stoke City at Loftus Road.

"It will take a miracle now. It is almost impossible," Redknapp told Sky Sports. "We had a go, but maybe we are short of that bit of quality needed in this league.

"As well, with the injuries to Townsend and Adel (Taarabt) we lost two key players today, just when we needed that little bit of luck. There was no way back from there."

Potters counterpart Tony Pulis has come in for some criticism of late, but insists the club do not take their Premier League status for granted after goasl from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters inched them closer to another season of top-flight football.

"It was a great result for us today," Pulis said. "After seven years of success in our own right, we have not been used to being where we are. We haven't been getting the breaks, but today we did and it made the difference."

Paolo Di Canio praised the efforts of his players following Sunderland's 1-0 win over Everton at the Stadium of Light, declaring his happiness after only three games in charge.

"The final whistle, that was one of the best moments of my life," Di Canio said. "I would like them to press high all over, but we have to be realistic, they gave everything."

Victory for Sunderland moves them clear of the relegation zone, but David Moyes was left downhearted as his side's chances of top-four finish were thwarted by Stephane Sessegnon's solitary goal.

"I don't think we can qualify (for the Champions League) now," Moyes said. "We had to keep winning and keep on going, and even if we did keep on winning we would still have been outsiders."

Arsene Wenger believed it was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from his Arsenal side, but was pleased with victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

"It was a positive first-half," Wenger said. "But for some reason, but I don't know why, our game in the second-half deteriorated and our passing became sloppy, and we played with less pace in our game and Fulham you have to give them credit - they are a good side and they tried like mad and they played very well today."

Olivier Giroud was sent-off in the dying moments, but it was Fulham boss Martin Jol was left ruing Steve Sidwell's early dismissal, leaving his side playing with ten men for over 80 minutes.

"I am 100% certain it was mistimed and he did not do it on purpose but he caught the guy," Jol said. "It was not his intention but as I said it was mistimed and if he had booked him the same as Giroud I would have taken that and it spoilt the game."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was left bemoaning his side's lack of luck as a 2-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park means they now sit three points adrift of Premier League safety.

"I think luck plays a big part in the game, as we saw today," Martinez told Sky Sports. "The two goals that we conceded are a little bit soft, but if you look at the overall balance of play and the amount of chances that we created, we deserved to get much more than what we got today."

Kevin Nolan netted his 100th career goal, and Sam Allardyce hailed his side's clinical finishing which sees the Hammers move up to tenth position.

Kevin Nolan celebrates his 100th career goal with his West Ham team-mates © Getty Images
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"The clinical finishing today edged us just ahead of Wigan and got us a very valuable three points to take us to 42," Allardyce told Sky Sports. "I know mathematically we are still not safe and people will say I shouldn't say this, but it's been a long, long time since someone went down with 42 points."

Chris Hughton says the timing of the opening goal was paramount in Norwich's 2-1 win over Reading at Carrow Road. Ryan Bennett fired the Canaries' ahead from eight yards, before Elliott Bennett doubled their lead two minutes later.

"Reading had little periods where they did well, but goals change games and we got ours at the right time," Clarke said. "It was a big goal because it got rid of the nervousness and getting the second goal so quickly afterwards got rid of it more."

Defeat for the Royals edges them closer to relegation to the Championship, and Nigel Adkins was disappointed with the errors that gifted the home side the win.

"We said it was important how we dealt with the balls they play into the box and the physicality and we did it well for the most part," Adkins said. "But for that 15-minute spell we just couldn't deal with them - that led to the two goals."

After being held to a 1-1 draw the Hawthorns by Newcastle, West Brom boss Steve Clarke had few complaints as the Baggies failed to close the gap on seventh-placed Liverpool.

"Newcastle were better and sharper than us in the first half," Clarke said. "They looked like a side who wanted to secure their place in the Premier League next season.All credit to them at the start of the game. They created a number of chance and we were very lucky to hang in there."

Alan Pardew agreed that the Magpies should have left the midlands with maximum points.

"To be honest, the game should have been over at half-time," Pardew said. "West Brom went direct in the second half but if we had scored that second when we were on top we might have been leaving with all three points."

Michael Laudrup admitted he was frustrated after seeing Swansea draw 0-0 with Southampton at the Liberty Stadium, and insists that the Swans will need to improve if they are to target a top ten finish.

"It means we will have to get the points elsewhere," Laudrup said. "I do not know how many points we will need to stay up there. I think we need four to six points. We have to find them somewhere and of course it will not be easy with some of the games coming up. But that is life."

Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with a point away from home.

"The goal is the same as always - to get the three points from every game we play," he said. "If we cannot get the three points, at least get a point from the away games."

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