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Saints 1 QPR 2
Updated 5:23pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- Saints lose to bottom club QPR
- Harry Redknapp makes winning return to St Mary's
- Loic Remy and Jay Bothroyd twice give QPR the lead
- Gaston Ramirez equalises in first half stoppage time
- Lallana and Fox both forced off through injury
Harry Redknapp's return ends in only a third league win all season for QPR.
Plenty to ponder for Mauricio Pochettino who is the one with the birthday blues.
SAINTS 1 QPR 2
We are into six minutes of injury time
QPR sub - 90 minutes
Fabio coming on for Bothroyd.
Two saves from the sub keeper Green.
The first is superb as he dives to his right to block Yoshida's pwoerful header from a corner from eight yards out.
Moments later he turns wide from Fonte's low drive.
GOAL - SAINTS 1 QPR 2 - Bothroyd 78
Yoshida is beaten in a challenge by Park who gets to the right by-line and fires in a low cross into the six yard box that Bothroyd steers home from close range
Subs - 75 minutes
For QPR keeper Julio Cesar limps off with a dead leg to be replaced by Rob Green.
For Saints James Ward-Prowse is on for Ramirez.
The half is in a bit of a lull.
Perhaps both sides are lining up for a storming finish.
Saints sub - 57 minutes
Injured Danny Fox limps off to be replaced by Shaw
Rodriguez curls a shot from the edge of the area just over the bar
QPR sub 54 minutes
Jermaine Jenas on for Granero
Fonte shoots not too far wide.
Another good start to this half from Saints.
The second half is underway
HALF TIME - SAINTS 1 QPR 1
Jose Fonte is the first Saints player in the book
GOAL - SAINTS 1 QPR 1 - RAMIREZ 45
Rodriguez has an immediate impact as his shot from 25 yards is spilled in front of him by Cesar. Ramirez follows up and produces an immaculate lofted finish over the keeper to level.
Armand Traore is rightly booked for a foul
Saints sub - 43 minutes
Lallana goes down again following that earlier clash of heads and has to come off and is replaced by Jay Rodriguez
Lallana and Hill both able to continue after a break in play due to a nasty clash of heads.
Saints settling down again now and dominating possession once more.
They still haven't created a decent chance in the opening half an hour though.
Mbia booked for bringing down Cork
Bothroyd is the first player in the book for a horrible late challenge on Clyne
GOAL - SAINTS 0 QPR 1 - REMY 14
A simple ball over the top puts Loic Remy in behind.
He fires past Boruc with Fox unable to quite clear on the line.
Earlier, Jason Puncheon had half a shout for a penalty turned down.
Good start from Saints.
QPR have hardly touched the ball so far.
The game is underway
Harry Redknapp gets a hot reception
With kick-off fast approaching there is no escaping the importance of this game for Saints.
Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin certianly isn't playing it down.
"This game is massive," he said.
"QPR will come to us because they are playing for their lives, but we are too.
"We want to survive in this league, and we want to put QPR in more trouble, that's our job, and that's what we want to do.
"They do have a lot to lose in terms of their Premier League position, but they are a good team and I'm sure they will come at us, but it's no problem if we play our game.
"We're ready for it, to win this game."
Despite QPR being rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, their boss, Harry Redknapp, beleives they can still stay up.
"I've got to be upbeat, I can't be nothing else," he said.
"If I walk around thinking 'we're doomed, we're relegated', I mean we might as well all pack up and go on our summer holidays.
"I've got to keep believing to the last breath. We've got to keep fighting, we can't give up and there is still plenty of breath left in us because there is still enough games to have a run.
"Other teams can get sucked in and can pick up points. If you can win two games, you can make massive strides. That's what we need to aim to do somehow."
So that's four changes to the Saints side that lost 4-2 at Newcastle.
Jose Fonte, Danny Fox, Jason Puncheon and Gaston Ramirez all return to the starting line-up with Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw, Steven Davis, and Jay Rodriguez missing out.
Interestingly, Shaw is amongst the subs.
SAINTS TEAM: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox, Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Shaw, Richardson, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Rodriguez, Do Prado.
QPR TEAM: Cesar, Traore, Samba, Hill, Bosingwa, Granero, Park, Hoilett, Bothroyd, Mbia, Remy.
Subs: Green, Taarabt, Mackie, Onouha, Jenas, Fabio, Townsend.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp says he has not lost any sleep over the hostile reception awaiting him at Saints today, insisting he has no regrets ahead of his first return to St Mary's.
Saints suffered relegation from the Barclays Premier League eight years ago under the supervision of Redknapp, who then quit to re-join bitter rivals Portsmouth a matter of months later.
That period still rankles with many Southampton fans, who will no doubt make their feelings known when he brings bottom side QPR to the south coast tomorrow.
That, though, is not something that bothers Redknapp too much, even it is not the ideal way to spend his 66th birthday.
"Listen, I will get a bit of grief, won't I? But what can you do? That's no problem," he said.
"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.
"I won't lose any sleep over that. I will only lose sleep if the result is bad."
Anything but victory for QPR could prove disastrous for a side already seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League.
That is where Southampton ended the 2004-05 season under Redknapp but he insists he has a clear conscience.
"Listen, no one was more upset than I was that the club got relegated that year," he added.
"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."
Mauricio Pochettino expects former Southampton manager Harry Redknapp to get a rough ride on his first return to St Mary's this weekend.
The 65-year-old brings QPR to the south coast on Saturday as the Premier League's bottom-placed side looking to kick-start their fight against relegation.
That is something he tasted at the Southampton helm, finishing the 2004/05 season bottom of the table as the club's 27-year spell in the top flight came to an end.
Redknapp quit later that year to rejoin bitter rivals Portsmouth, which the home fans will no doubt remind him of when he makes his first return.
Pochettino, who like Redknapp celebrates his birthday on Saturday, is aware of the strength of feeling towards his QPR counterpart but is only focused on the game itself.
"I do know the past of Southampton, but I do not know every single detail of what happened," the Argentinian said.
"I am always interested in football matters so I have become interested in this matter as well.
"But I think my main goal is always to generate a positive atmosphere for my team and always respect what the people say.
"I will thoroughly respect whatever they want to say on Saturday, but I think what is truly important is that they get behind the team and push us to try and get the three points as best as we can."
Victory for Saints today would move them further away from the relegation zone and leave QPR deeper in the relegation mire.
Harry Redknapp has highlighted 37 points as the tally required to beat the drop but Pochettino does not buy into such talk.
"We haven't set ourselves a certain amount of points," he said.
"We have just set out to win every single match and then at the end of the season we will look at how far close we came to achieving the ambitions we have."
Amazing story this morning.
QPR have declined to comment on allegations that their Dubai training camp last month was marred by ill-discipline.
The west Londoners went to the United Arab Emirates on a five-day warm-weather training camp with a view to improving their terrible league form.
However, reports emanated today that unnamed players likened the behaviour on the trip to a "stag party" and that it was a glorified holiday.
Bottom-placed QPR face Southampton this afternoon and have declined to comment on the matter before the game.
"The club is aware of the article in today's Daily Mirror but the club's entire focus is on today's fixture against Southampton," head of media and communications Ian Taylor said via Twitter.
"We will be making no further comment at this time."
QPR striker Bobby Zamora will miss today's clash at Southampton.
The 32-year-old striker picked up an ankle injury in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, meaning Loic Remy could start for the first time since January 29.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp does not have many other injury concerns to contend with, although defender Tal Ben Haim is struggling with a hip flexor problem.
Luke Shaw is the major injury doubt for Saints after he was forced off at Newcastle last weekend.
Elsewhere, several Southampton players will be looking for a recall.
Gaston Ramirez and Jason Puncheon both came off the bench in last weekend's 4-2 loss at Newcastle and will be hoping to regain starting berths.
Jose Fonte was also named among the substitutes at St James' Park - his first involvement since sustaining a knee injury in the FA Cup tie against Chelsea on January 5. Recent signing Vegard Forren is still waiting for his debut.
Hello and welcome to the Daily Echo's macthday coverage of Saints v QPR at St Mary's.
Much of the attention and focus in the build up to the game has of course been on Harry Redknapp, who returns to the club for the first time since his ill fated stint as manager.
He is sure to get a hot reception but Saints fans will be just as keen to support their side, knowing a win against the bottom placed club would put them within touching distance of Premier League safety.
For QPR this really is last chance saloon. If they fail to beat Saints then it is hard to see any way they can stay up.
Stick with us as we preview the game, bring you the teams and updates from the match itself.