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Southampton Vs QPR Preview: Harry Redknapp Returns To Hell

01/03/2013 16:49 GMT | Updated 01/03/2013 17:06 GMT

One vitriolic reception for a manager, well, an interim manager, is already guaranteed this weekend. But whereas Rafael Benítez is managing a team his detractors still want to see win, Harry Redknapp is not.

Redknapp returns to Southampton for the first time since the scene of his biggest and most hidden failure. Lost among the platitudes for his fluke-tastic FA Cup win with Portsmouth 2008 and triumph in guiding Tottenham - previously Champions League wannabes - to a Champions League berth was when his Southampton side was relegated in 2005.

One of the most nerve-wracking final days of the season, with the league long since done and dusted thanks to José Mourinho's Chelsea juggernaut, not one team had yet been relegated and three of four were heading down into the Championship.

harry redknapp

Redknapp has won just two games in the Premier League with QPR

Only West Brom emerged victorious as Norwich were thrashed 6-0 at Fulham, Crystal Palace were denied at Charlton in a 2-2 draw and Redknapp's Southampton lost at home to Manchester United.

His second top-flight foray into the January transfer window, Redknapp's son Jamie, Olivier Bernard and Jamie Quashie were an underwhelming triumvirate that joined the club. They won five of their lost 14 league matches and the club's demotion signalled the end of Redknapp's brief spell with a second south coast club. A year later he succeeded in keeping Portsmouth afloat having returned to Fratton Park, which only intensifies Southampton fans' hatred for him.

Ironically, had it not been for his former club he may still be jobless. Southampton ended Mark Hughes' 10-month stint at QPR in November's managerial death match when they recorded an excellent 3-1 victory at Loftus Road. Since then, Nigel Adkins has been harshly sacked yet despite the obvious risks of employing Mauricio Pochettino, the Saints look a more sophisticated side.

The pressure was greater on Hughes that day and it's even greater on Redknapp. He may have hidden from negotiating the deal which brought Christopher Samba to Loftus Road, but the Rs have invested £34.1m in a defender who moved so cumbersomely against Manchester United last week he looked more Christopher Amble. Redknapp however cannot hide from appointing Clint Hill captain and not buying another central defender. Or another striker, for that matter.

Hughes said last May: "As far as I'm concerned, we will never be in this situation again while I am manager." Few would have disagreed when Esteban Granero, Júlio César, Junior Hoilett and Stéphane Mbia arrived, but they were just four out of 12 players who arrived and too many serve only to drain the club's resources. Redknapp has inherited that mess and is only half culpable for the Rs' demise, but his renowned impact has yielded just two league victories from 14 with 11 games remaining.

A win for QPR will only take them to within three points of Reading in 19th while victory for Southampton will take them 13 points clear of the basement club. As QPR plunge nearer to the abyss, Redknapp may again be considering whether to jump ship.