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No. 35: Charlie Austin, QPR

Leicester CityLeicester City
Queens Park RangersQueens Park Rangers
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Redknapp planning to use wing-backs

Jason Roberts is sent into the air following a challenge by Armand Traore
Armand Traore will get the chance to show his skills down the left.

Harry Redknapp insists reviving the wing-back formation could hold the key to QPR's chances of Premier League survival.

The former Tottenham boss admitted surprise at the number of national sides favouring a return to 3-5-2 in Brazil's summer World Cup. Redknapp delayed Rangers' move to three at the back last term, but now feels confident he has the personnel to pull off the notoriously tricky set-up.

The QPR manager believes Armand Traore and Jordon Mutch can operate as natural left wing-backs, with Danny Simpson and Mauricio Isla slotting in on the right.

"Traore should be perfect, that's what he is, a wing-back, he's not a left-back really,'' said Redknapp, ahead of Saturday's league opener against Hull at Loftus Road. "He's half a left-back and half a left winger really.

"So really he's a wing-back, that's what he does, so it's perfect for him. And Jordon should be the same on the left side, he's an attacking player who can run all day. So I've got two people on the left side, and I've got Danny Simpson and Isla on the right.

"Isla can play three or four positions, because he can play anywhere in midfield. So he's a good acquisition.''

Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has ushered in a back-three system at Old Trafford, with the long-defunct formation making an unlikely comeback.

Redknapp does not expect the Premier League to be awash with wing-backs as in the mid-nineties, but admitted it remains a formation he favours.

The 67-year-old pledged to dispense with his plan if the changes fail to bear fruit, but warned his squad to cope with the new tactical blueprint.

"The players will just be pleased to be playing, they shouldn't worry too much about the formation,'' said Redknapp, keen to field two strikers without sacrificing midfield bite. "At the end of the day, whatever the system, they get on with it.

"They've got to play and get on with it: if they don't, then unlucky really. It was difficult to do it last year as we didn't quite have the players.

"It was a surprise to see so many teams playing that way at the World Cup, but it was in my mind long, long before the World Cup to play that way. It's a system I've always liked.

"Hopefully it's something that can work for us, and certainly our first objective of course is to try to stay in the league. There will probably only be two or three teams playing that way in the league.

"It enables you to get two strikers in the team. People have had problems getting two strikers in because unless you play 4-4-2 you're getting overrun with two midfield players.

"So that is a problem if the other team play with three in there, and that's why most teams play with one striker these days. This way it enables you to get three midfielders and two strikers.''


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