Forget Barton for now! Redknapp focused on current QPR squad
QPR's Harry Redknapp plays down Shaun Derry's claims the west London side have missed Joey Barton this season
With Joey Barton enjoying his French sojourn at Marseille, Harry Redknapp says he must focus on the players currently available to him as he plots Queens Park Rangers’ own great escape.
The 30-year-old midfielder joined Marseille from the Hoops on a season-long loan in August after being deemed surplus to requirements by former R’s manager Mark Hughes.
On Wednesday, veteran defender Shaun Derry admitted QPR could have done with Barton’s tenacity in their squad this season, with the Hoops bottom of the table and seven points from safety.
Redknapp has been impressed by Barton’s impact at l’OM and expects the midfielder to seek a permanent move to the French outfit in the summer, but refused to admit the one-time England international has been missed at Loftus Road.
“He’s done very well in Marseille. He’s been in good form and done a good job,” said Redknapp.
“They like him there. I’d think he’s quite happy where he is at the moment. He lives in a beautiful area and playing good football.
“I’ve never worked with Joey so I don’t know. He’s not here, so it’s hypothetical. I like the players I’ve got here now, we’ve got a good group.
“So I’ve got to get the best out of them.”
Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung was reported to be considering hanging up his boots when his QPR contract expires at the end of next season.
Redknapp said he is unaware of the South Korean’s retirement plans, but the Hoops boss is pleased with the tenacious midfielder’s current form after the former Red Devils star created Jay Bothroyd’s goal in their Southampton win.
“I’ve never spoken to him about that [Park’s plan to retire],” added Redknapp.
“He’s a great boy, a good professional. He’s a legend in his country.
“A Champions League winner with Manchester United. He’s done it all. He’s playing very well at the moment. I’ve been very pleased with him.”