HARRY REDKNAPP'S COLUMN, MATCHDAY PROGRAMME v QPR, OCTOBER 30
It was a hard earned three points at Ewood Park last weekend.
Blackburn Rovers is always a tough place to go and last Sunday’s trip was no different. We had control of the game once we scored the opening goal and could have added to our tally but once they equalised they came on strong.
It was difficult but in the end we reclaimed the lead, hung on to it and got the result, which I felt was massive for us, particularly after letting two points slip a week earlier at St James’ Park.
We had some good spells during the game but we were gritty in the end and that’s what you have to do sometimes to win games like that – everyone has to fight for everything and that’s what we did.
Rafael van der Vaart’s two goals took his tally to five in his last four games, which is some achievement for a second striker who plays in the hole. He is an amazing finisher.
We have got strong competition for places upfront – Emmanel Adebayor has been in good form, Jermain Defoe has been unlucky not to be in the team of late but scored a great goal against Newcastle recently, as did Roman Pavlyuchenko in claiming the winning goal against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League last week.
Roman is a fantastic striker of the ball and when he put the ball down I fancied it would end up in the back of the net so it was good to see him back on the score sheet.
We knew we would be in for a difficult evening against Rubin Kazan, six or seven of that side won at Barcelona a couple of years ago, so I was pleased with the outcome.
I thought it was a good performance, although we had to hang in there at times, and it is always great to see some of the younger players involved progressing.
This afternoon Queens Park Rangers are the visitors to White Hart Lane and I would like to extend a warm welcome to Neil Warnock and his players and coaching staff here today.
Neil has done a fantastic job at QPR in getting them promoted to the Premier League as Championship winners in his first full season in charge, particularly after so many had tried and failed before him. It is a great achievement and just shows what he is all about.
I have seen QPR a few times this season and they have made an encouraging start to life in the top flight. They will come into this game on a high after an excellent result against Chelsea last weekend but we are playing well and looking forward to it.
We have shown fantastic form of late, picking up 16 points from a possible 18. We have been to some tough places on our travels in that time as well as beating Liverpool and Arsenal at home too. We want to keep that run going now. We have got a great spirit here and I like the way we play our football, it is a pleasure to watch.
Today's match marks our support for Kick It Out's 'One Game, One Community' campaign.
Great strides have been made in stamping out discrimination in all its forms, and at all levels of the game in recent years.
It is important that everyone plays their part in making the game a more tolerant and friendly place and ensure we maintain this for the next generation of supporters too.
Enjoy the game.