Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has welcomed new QPR boss Harry Redknapp back to the Premier League ahead of the clash between their respective sides on Tuesday evening, hailing him as "a very fine manager".
Redknapp takes charge of the relegation-threatened R’s for the first time against the Northern Irishman’s own struggling side, the Black Cats have taken just 12 points from as many games, with O’Neill forced to clarify his own position after rumours of his resignation spread on Saturday evening.
Redknapp has been tasked with guiding QPR away from an increasingly desperate situation as the London side continue to look for their first win of the Premier League campaign, and O’Neill is certain the 65-year-old will prove his credentials in the division.
"He [Redknapp] is a very fine manager, he has proved that,” O’Neill told reporters.
"The majority of us here in the room might well have thought he was going to be the next England manager, so well had he done at Tottenham Hotspur.
"It wasn't to be, but he is a very fine manager and he will bring all of his experience to bear. He's back in football and he is a talented man."
Focusing on Tuesday’s game, the O’Neill was keen to emphasise his side’s recent upturn in fortunes in front of goal and insisted that Sunderland must take advantage of their home fixtures if they are too build momentum in the division.
"It's up to us to go to the game and play as strongly as we have done in the last number of games,” he added.
"We have been able to score six goals in the last three matches, so that's another positive for us.
"The league is very, very tight and very few points separate a lot of the teams at this moment, so as Southampton have proved, two consecutive wins put you right back in proper contention and for us, it is just a case of go and win at home."