Southampton-Queens Park Rangers Preview
Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond are preparing Queens Park Rangers for Saturday's home match against Southampton following the sudden departure of manager Harry Redknapp.
The 67-year-old Redknapp resigned with immediate effect Tuesday morning, saying imminent knee replacement surgery would prevent him from giving 100 percent to the club.
Rangers have since promoted former striker Les Ferdinand to director of football, while a number of well-known names have been linked to the Loftus Road hot seat, including former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood.
Second-from-bottom Rangers (5-4-14) saw their winless streak in the Premier League stretch to six matches after they lost 3-1 at Stoke City last Saturday.
QPR goalkeeper Rob Green admitted he had no idea of Redknapp's plans to resign until the news broke.
"It came as a surprise to everybody," the 35-year-old Green told his club website on Thursday. "We went from the disappointment of the defeat at Stoke, where we were really in the game for an hour after we pulled a goal back, into the media circus that is transfer deadline day.
"And then for that to happen on the Tuesday was certainly a shock. We'll all have a chat about it today but the fact of the matter is we have to get over it quickly, move on quickly and get ready for Saturday's game against Southampton.
The Hoops can take solace in being competitive at Loftus Road, where they have claimed all 19 of their points this season with five wins and four draws in 12 matches.
The Saints (13-3-7) suffered their first defeat in seven top-flight matches after losing 1-0 at home to Swansea City last Sunday. Jonjo Shelvey hit the winner for the Swans with a terrific long-range effort seven minutes from times.
Despite that defeat, Southampton still have a tenuous hold on fourth in the table with 42 points, ahead of Arsenal on goal differential.
Saints defender Ryan Bertrand was sent off late in the match for a heavy challenge on Swans forward Modou Barrow.
Ronald Koeman's side were not involved in midweek cup action and will have had six days to prepare for the Rangers match, making the Saints boss keen to move on from the loss.
"Finally we have the whole week for training sessions," Koeman told his club website. "The last two months we didn't have time to train, we played a lot. Now it's weekend after weekend, apart from next week, and that's helped us have more players available.
"We were very disappointed about the result last week but not about the performance. We played very well in the first half. It's about creating and scoring goals. We need more sharpness in our crosses, chances and in expecting chances, we missed that last week."
Rangers will be without the injured Alejandro Faurlin and Adel Taarabt, while Armand Toure and Sandro are close to a return to action.
Fit-again Saints duo Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin have returned to training and should be available to face Rangers. Jay Rodriguez remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury, while Bertrand will serve his ban.
Serbia international Filip Djuricic, who moved to St. Mary's on loan from Benfica on transfer deadline day, will have to wait to make his debut due to work permit issues.
The Saints beat QPR 2-1 at St. Mary's in late September, with all three goals coming in the second half. Bertrand put the Saints in front after 54 minutes, only to see Charlie Austin equalise 12 minutes later. Parity lasted just two minutes as Graziano Pelle put Southampton in front for good on 68 minutes.