Can QPR escape the drop?

He has the perfect get outfor if QPR fail to survive in the Premier League this season. Yet, in traditional Redknapp style, if they are able to survive it is because he is a genius.

To some extent, this is fair. QPR have been truly awful so far this season, the major flops. Redknapp would need to do something spectacular to get them out of the hole they find themselves in. And if they cannot survive, then it surely has more to do with what happened beforehand at Loftus Road.

The victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week helped to spark ambitions that they could yet just avoid the drop. It was a remarkable and momentous victory against a team they had not won away to for decades. Suddenly, they looked like a team who could avoid relegation. How had this happened? Well, Harry Redknapp for one thing had them defending deep, very deep, so there were not spaces for the opposition to run into behind their defence. He got them to ‘run around a bit’, the phrase often associated with his tactical style. But there was more to it than that. There was relaxation, the pressure was off, and they could enjoy themselves a bit more.

Now attention turns to the transfer market, and whether Redknapp will indulge in a few purchases in the sales. He is partial to a signing or three, although given the number of recruits brought in last summer you could understand the QPR board if they wanted to limit spending. It is also notable that they spent quite a bit in the transfer window before last summer as well, so QPR’s constant wheeling and dealing has to end somewhere. But surely not with Harry? Reports this weekend indicated they had bid for the French international Yann M’Vila. It was a strange link really, given that the player’s career came off the rails after he went to a nightclub on the eve of an important under 21 game France faced against Norway earlier this season. He is currently banned from playing for France until the end of the Brazil 2014 World Cup, and even his club Rennes considered hanging him out to dry for his misdemeanour.

Harry will have to do better than that if he is to find the right players to get QPR out of their current plight. M’Vila would not fancy taking a step down, and he is hardly the type of player they want right now. They already have Joey Barton, England’s enfant terrible, on their books – they do not need France’s as well.

And so Redknapp will scour the market in search of bargains and other talents to strengthen his squad ahead of the unlikely battle for survival. QPR can be confident that with the right signings, they should easily finish above Reading, who seem certainties for the drop. Yet there need to be two teams worse than QPR in the second half of the season who aren’t Reading for them to survive. Southampton look much better than them still, Aston Villa probably have enough of a headstart not to have to worry about them and Sunderland surely won’t be in relegation trouble at the season’s end. Neither will Newcastle. Norwich seem to have got enough points during their fantastic early winter run to haul themselves to safety. Stoke City will bore their way to survival again, West Ham have more than enough about them to stay up. So who really is there for QPR to train their sights on as they seek to survive? It looks unlikely, yet you suspect if anyone is going to do it, it would be Redknapp.