Redknapp expects hostile reception from Southampton fans

The 65-year-old managed the Saints when they were relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and is anticipating "a bit of grief" from the home crowd on his first return since then
QPR manager Harry Redknapp admits he is expecting a hostile reception from Southampton fans on Saturday as he returns to St Mary's Stadium for the first time since overseeing their top-flight relegation in 2005.

Redknapp left Portsmouth to take charge of the Saints in 2004, only to see the club suffer relegation from the Premier League before returning to Pompey months later.

And the 65-year-old is anticipating a tough crowd when he takes QPR to the south coast this weekend, although he suggests he “won’t lose any sleep” over it.
“I will get a bit of grief, won’t I? But what can you do? That’s no problem,” Redknapp told reporters. “They are not bad people there. I wouldn’t say Southampton supporters are nasty, aggressive people. They’re not.

“They’re good supporters and they’ll give me a bit of grief but that’s life. I accept that. I will just get on with it.

“I won’t lose any sleep over that. I will only lose sleep if the result is bad.”

Speaking about his time with the Saints, Redknapp insisted that no one was more disappointed with the club’s relegation than him and that he had done “everything” in his power to try to prevent it.

He added: “No one was more upset than I was that the club got relegated that year. When I went there were four teams cut adrift by miles and we just couldn’t get out of it.

“I gave everything I had and that’s all you can do. You can look yourself in the mirror. No one tried harder than I did.

“You can only give your best at the end of the day. You are relying on players. I have said when I have been successful and done well at Tottenham, it is about good players. That is what the game is about.

“If you’ve got good players, it is an easy game. You send them on the pitch and off they go. They perform week in, week out. It’s easy and the better players you’ve got the easier the job is.”