QPR: Harry Redknapp close to Ukraine job before joining QPR

Harry Redknapp says he would have taken over as Ukraine coach had he not been appointed QPR manager.

The 65-year-old succeeded Mark Hughes as R's boss on Saturday morning.

He told BBC Sport: "I genuinely fancied the job in Ukraine. That was where I was heading at the start of the week. I really thought I would take that job.

"It was exciting. They really wanted me there. It was a fantastic opportunity and maybe one day I'll look back and think I wish I'd had a go at it."

For now though, Redknapp's attention is focused on Premier League survival with the west London club, who are yet to win in 12 games and prop up the table with just four points.

"It is a good challenge, but a tough one," he said. "It is something to look forward to and I cannot wait to get stuck into it."

Redknapp has a decent track record in resurrecting team's fortunes, having lifted Tottenham out of the mire in the 2008-09 season, before keeping Portsmouth in the Premier League during two spells with the south coast club.

"Tottenham were not in a real relegation battle when I took over despite having two points at the time, they had been underachieving, this is a tougher one," said the former West Ham manager, who also revealed that he is "yet to sign a contract".

Analysis

"During last Saturday's defeat by Southampton, fans held up a banner reading "Harry Come And Save Us". Now they have their wish but their delight must be tempered by the fact that, on this season's evidence, QPR will take an awful lot of saving.

"Redknapp's proven man-management skills and knowledge will provide an instant lift to a team which looked without spirit and heart against Southampton at Loftus Road.

"He must quickly unite his squad amid claims of a divide between the old guard and the new players who arrived en masse under the Hughes revolution last summer."

"It is more like when I went back to Portsmouth, they were in a difficult situation and it took a little bit of time to get out of it.

In between his reigns at Fratton Park he was unable to stop Southampton from being relegated from the top flight for the first time in 27 years.

"When you are down there, it is hard," Redknapp continued.

"QPR have got a group of decent players and it is up to them to start performing. If they'd performed as they should have been doing, Mark wouldn't have got the sack and I wouldn't be here, it comes down to them, they need to stand up and be counted and start doing their jobs."

Redknapp admitted that he has not seen any 'live' Premier League action since being sacked by Tottenham in June because he did not want people speculating as to why he was at the game.

He will watch QPR's game against Manchester United at Old Trafford from the stands out of respect for the players and coaching staff left at the club.

"I don't even know what the team is, I don't have a clue what system they're playing," he admitted.

"I can't go walking in the dressing room, it would be embarrassing for me. I'll leave it to [coaches] Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, they are great guys.

"I will be at training on Sunday with the players for the warm down."

Redknapp did reveal though that he wasn't expecting to sign many players in the January transfer window.

"I haven't really had chance to speak to the owner about that but I don't expect to be spending lots," he said.

"Twelve players came in over the summer and you can't just keep spending money if things are not going well.

"We have got to get their confidence up and working hard. We want them to do what they are paid to do - winning football matches."

Redknapp's former assistant, Joe Jordan - one of the favourites for the Scotland national manager's job - will meet Redknapp on Saturday to discuss a potential appointment.