March 2, 2013
Saints players pushing for recalls
Team Stat Comparison
|Southampton||Queens Park Rangers|
|Goals for *||1.4||0.9|
|Goals against *||1.3||1.7|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-W-W||L-L-L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||D-L-D-W-D||L-D-L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Southampton | Queens Park Rangers|
Several Southampton players will be looking for a recall to the starting line-up when struggling QPR visit.
Gaston Ramirez and Jason Puncheon both came off the bench in last weekend's 4-2 loss at Newcastle and will be hoping to regain starting berths.
Jose Fonte was also named among the substitutes at St James' Park - his first involvement since sustaining a knee injury in the FA Cup tie against Chelsea on January 5. Recent signing Vegard Forren is still waiting for his debut.
The future might look bright for Saints but their immediate attention is on Saturday's as they look to move away from the drop zone.
"This game is massive,'' midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin said.
"QPR will come to us because they are playing for their lives, but we are too.
"We want to survive in this league, and we want to put QPR in more trouble, that's our job, and that's what we want to do.
"They do have a lot to lose in terms of their Premier League position, but they are a good team and I'm sure they will come at us, but it's no problem if we play our game.
"We're ready for it, to win this game.''
QPR striker Bobby Zamora will miss out.
The 32-year-old striker picked up an ankle injury in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, meaning Loic Remy could start for the first time since January 29.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp does not have many other injury concerns to contend with, although defender Tal Ben Haim is struggling with a hip flexor problem.
Redknapp will not be losing any sleep over the hostile reception awaiting him, insisting he has no regrets ahead of his first return to St Mary's.
Saints suffered relegation from the Barclays Premier League eight years ago under the supervision of Redknapp, who then quit to re-join bitter rivals Portsmouth a matter of months later.
That period still rankles with many Southampton fans, who will no doubt make their feelings known when he brings bottom side QPR to the south coast.
That, though, is not something that bothers Redknapp too much, even it is not the ideal way to spend his 66th birthday.
"Listen, I will get a bit of grief, won't I? But what can you do? That's no problem,'' he said.
"They are not bad people there. I wouldn't say Southampton supporters are nasty, aggressive people. They're not.
"They're good supporters and they'll give me a bit of grief but that's life. I accept that. I will just get on with.
"I won't lose any sleep over that. I will only lose sleep if the result is bad.''
Anything but victory for QPR could prove disastrous for a side already seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League.
That is where Southampton ended the 2004-05 season under Redknapp but he insists he has a clear conscience.
"Listen, no one was more upset than I was that the club got relegated that year,'' he added.
"When I went there were four teams cut adrift by miles and we just couldn't get out of it.
"I gave everything I had and that's all you can do. You can look yourself in the mirror. No one tried harder than I did.
"You can only give your best at the end of the day. You are relying on players.
"I have said when I have been successful and done well at Tottenham, it is about good players. That is what the game is about.
"If you've got good players, it is an easy game. You send them on the pitch and off they go.
"They perform week in, week out. It's easy and the better players you've got the easier the job is.''