Harry Redknapp furiously hit out at individuals who he claimed are trying to "disrupt" Queens Park Rangers after his side's 2-1 victory at Southampton and rubbished reports in Saturday's papers that a recent trip to Dubai had been marred by ill-discipline and drinking.
A visibly angry Redknapp insisted that the story was untrue and had been fabricated by an agent looking to spread mischief.
Despite three unnamed QPR players being quoted in the report, Redknapp said that he knew who was really responsible for the story and that it had a unifying effect on his squad before the game at St Mary's. Back at his old club for the first time since leaving Southampton to join Portsmouth in 2005, Redknapp saw QPR win for the third time this season, although it was not enough to lift his side off the bottom of the table.
"It's a mischievous no-story," Redknapp said. "An absolute load of nonsense. I took the players to Dubai, arrived there at 5 o'clock in the morning, trained at 11.30 that morning, trained the following morning. I think there were six or seven teams out there and we were the only one that trained every day. Two of them didn't train all week, not one second. Their managers were out there with their wives.
"I spoke to the managers. They said we've come out here to rest. Let the players unwind, they've had a hard season. That's fine. I could have done that. We trained every day. We did not have one day off.
"We trained the first two days and then the doctor came to me with the sports scientist and said to me: 'They shouldn't train tomorrow. I've looked at them this morning, they've got aches and tight groins, they're a bit fatigued with the journey.' I said: 'No doc, we're going to train every day.' And I worked the socks off them. I had them on their knees, they worked that hard.
"The players were disgusted with it. They had a meeting about it last night. They couldn't believe it. I said there's only one way to show people and that's to go out today and put in a performance and that's what they did."
Redknapp said that he does not encourage his players to drink and had "stopped a culture of drinking at more clubs than you'll ever know" but that he had allowed his squad one night out after discussions with his coaching staff. He said that the players were warned they would be fined a week's wages if they were late for the coach to training the following morning.
"I gave them one night out and that's what they did," Redknapp said. "And when they went out, they said there were five other teams in the same place they went to. Why has no one written about the other teams having a night out? Why is it only QPR?
"You know why? Because this story has come from somebody who is trying to disrupt the football club. I know exactly who it is, I know his reasons for doing it and we all know who it is. It's not come from the players, it's come from an agent.
"Every day, half past eight, there wasn't one player late for the coach. Every day they were up early for breakfast at half past seven and were on the coach at half past eight to go training. There was a coach there from Sunderland who said: 'Bloody hell Harry, you worked them this morning.' When we left they came on and he watched half our session so where people get this from I do not know."
Redknapp admitted that it will still be hard for QPR to survive but was delighted with his side's effort at St Mary's and insisted he has no problems with anyone in the dressing room. "No one shirked, everyone worked hard," he said. "I'm getting the best out of them."
On a more positive note for Redknapp, at least he could enjoy a win on his 66th birthday although he said he had no plans to celebrate it. "I'm going to go home and watch Match of the Day," he said.
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