Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is a crafty one, and he could be thinking that a change of scenery could be a boost to his club as the head into the second half of the English Premier League season trying to stave off relegation. Redknapp has taken his team away from rainy England to Dubai for training in something of a ‘working vacation’.
QPR has definitely played better since Redknapp took over the team in late 2012–of course that’s not saying much given their pitiful performance in the early going. The Rangers remain at the bottom of the English Premier League table with 17 points, four behind 19th place Wigan Athletic. Of greater concern is the fact that they are 7 points back of 17th place Aston Villa and that’s their target as they try to stay up at the highest level of English football.
Redknapp explains the Dubai trip, which has become increasingly common for English Premier League teams at this stage of the season:
“Our training ground at Harlington is not the best, to say the least. When it rains, the pitch floods. When it snows, we can’t get on it. We’ve got no under soil heating. So this is an opportunity to get out and train on some good surfaces. This will provide a good break. We need to get away to train on a decent surface for a few days. I think there are six teams going to Dubai this week, everyone is getting away to do a bit of training.”
West Ham United is also in Dubai this week and manager Sam Allardyce sounded as if he were auditioning for a job with the country’s tourism board:
“The climate will be perfect and the training facilities will be superb. We’ll be carrying on with the training, but let them relax too and after they’ve done their training allow them to enjoy the warm weather, the sunshine and the beauty of Dubai.”
“Everything that goes with Dubai is fantastic, it’s one of the best resorts in the world today and when you can go to release the pressures they’re under on a day-to-day basis then hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the last part of the season. It worked last year, we had a fantastic finish to the season and I still think the trip that we had at this time last year was a big benefit in the end for getting us promoted into the Premier League.”
QPR won’t have an easy time of it upon their return to English Premier League action–they face Manchester United at Loftus Road on February 23. They do get a scheduling break–Man U will be in the middle of their Champions League series with Real Madrid but the betting lines at Bet365 suggest that may not be enough. Man U is a -200 road favorite with the home side priced at +550.