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Redknapp still optimistic on survival

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp still believes his side can escape relegation despite falling deeper into trouble on Saturday.

Redknapp’s lowly side slumped to a 3-2 loss at Aston Villa as Christian Benteke scored what proved to be the winner in the 81st minute.

The loss leaves QPR seven points from safety with eight Premier League games remaining, but Redknapp feels survival is still possible.

“We’ve got to keep going. We can’t go home and feel sorry,” Redknapp said.

“It’s going to be hard but there are still eight games to go. If we keep playing well, we can win four or five games.

“We’re probably looking at four wins and two draws. It’s going to be hard but it’s not impossible.

“I’m not giving up. We’ve still got to keep going.”

QPR led through a Jermaine Jenas goal before Gabriel Agbonlahor equalised for Villa on the stroke of half-time.

Andreas Weimann and Andros Townsend traded second-half goals before Benteke popped up to score the winner.

Redknapp rued his side’s missed chances in the first half and said Agbonlahor’s equaliser was a huge blow heading into the break.

“If we had come in 4-0 up half-time it would have been about right wouldn’t it? That’s the best I’ve seen us play during that first half,” he said.

“It was so one-sided. It was unbelievable for an away team to dominate like that.

“But they got a lift from the equaliser after being absolutely awful first half and probably couldn’t believe their luck. That goal knocked us for six.”

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was thrilled as the club achieved back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since May 2011.

“(Brad) Guzan has made three world-class saves and I will reiterate what I said before, that I wouldn’t swap him for anyone,” he said.

“But I thought we passed the ball well and the goal rocked us. It will rock an experienced team when you lose a goal, not just a young team.

“But credit the team, we scored right at the death of the first half and after that we were exceptional.

“Is it the turning point of the season? I’m not so sure. There are eight games to go but we’ve got momentum there.”

Sat 16 March, 2013
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