Championship: QPR boss Harry Redknapp upbeat but plays down favourites tag
QPR manager Harry Redknapp is in positive mood ahead of the new Championship season.
Last Updated: 02/08/13 11:39am
The Londoners face Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road in their first game of the new campaign on Saturday with a different looking squad to the one that was relegated from the Premier League.
Key among his new recruits could be striker Charlie Austin, who has been signed from Burnley despite his summer move to Hull falling through after he failed a medical due to a knee problem.
"Every club has problems at times but we've made some changes, we've brought a couple of new players in and we are starting to take shape," Redknapp said at his first pre-match media conference of 2013/14.
"We are looking forward to the season with optimism and I think this will be a great year at QPR. I don't see why we should be favourites though, we are looking to put a new team together almost.
"I think it will be tough, there are a lot of strong teams in the league this year. There are seven or eight teams that I think are really going to be excellent excellent and there are always one or two surprise packages.
"It's never easy to predict, it's going to be tough, but I think we will be right there."
Redknapp also defended his decision to sign Austin, despite concerns over the forward's knee.
The 24-year-old looked set to join Premier League new boys Hull but they decided not to take a chance on him, with a scan revealing a knee concern.
"I've always liked Charlie and I have followed his career since his early days," added Redknapp.
"He scores goals and is a fantastic finisher. We watched video clips of all his goals last year and he was amazing.
"I think he keeps improving every year and the sky's the limit. It's not impossible for Charlie Austin to play for England one day.
"Scoring goals is a special talent and I think he will score in any division. We are delighted to have him.
"It's a little gamble. When you look at it, maybe his knee is medically it is not as good as it should be but it doesn't give him a problem."