Football

QPR boss Redknapp: Sheffield United deserve the win

THIRD ROUND

QPR 0

SHEFFIELD UNITED 3

(Marc McNulty 36, Jamal Campbell-Ryce 49, 90+4)

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp hardly minced his words after his side were shocked 0-3 at home by third-tier side Sheffield United in the FA Cup yesterday.

Redknapp made seven changes to his starting line-up, but nevertheless it was still an experienced one which included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Leroy Fer and top scorer Charlie Austin.

However, he was so disappointed by the team's performance that he felt there were no positives at all.

Said Redknapp: "I thought Sheffield United looked sharp, and they were sharper than us all over the pitch.

"They were bright, better than us today and they looked like a team who had 10 days without playing and we looked like a team who had our fourth game in 10 days. They thoroughly deserved their win.

"You got to give them credit. You look at their record in the cup, they got to the (FA Cup) semi-finals last year. They are a bright, little team. Obviously, they raise their game in the cup."

When asked if there were any positives from this game, he added: "No, not much. Nothing at all, in fact."

Sheffield United's Jamal Campbell-Ryce scored twice as the Blades, managed by Nigel Clough, took home another Premier League scalp and stormed into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Marc McNulty slotted in a 36th-minute opener for the League One side after being put through by Louis Reed, and Campbell-Ryce netted early in the second half after goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was unable to claim Reed's corner.

GRATEFUL

Campbell-Ryce struck again in the final seconds when he gratefully collected Leroy Fer's wayward back header and skipped past McCarthy to cap a brilliant Blades victory.

The result continued the Blades' remarkable recent cup record.

Nigel Clough's men reached the FA Cup semi-finals last season, beating top-flight Aston Villa and Fulham along the way, and have knocked Southampton and West Ham out of this term's League Cup.

QPR, meanwhile, have suffered numerous early exits, several against lower-division opposition, in the 18 years since they last made it past the FA Cup third round without needing a replay. The west London outfit have won only two cup ties in the last 11 years.

They made a decent start, with Fer seeing a stinging shot saved at the near post by goalkeeper Mark Howard, who also kept out an effort from Jordon Mutch.

But the Hoops never looked comfortable at the back and Campbell-Ryce gave the hapless Armand Traore the runaround on the right flank.

Redknapp sent Bobby Zamora on at half-time in an effort to change the course of the game, but the Blades were two up within four minutes of the restart.

Traore needlessly conceded the corner, and McCarthy, in for the rested Rob Green, got nowhere near Reed's right-wing delivery. After the ball bounced off Mutch, Campbell-Ryce had the simple task of scoring from close range.

Zamora squandered a golden opportunity to quickly pull a goal back when he headed Matt Phillips' cross wide of the target.

GUILTY

Phillips was also guilty of a glaring miss, slicing a shot high and wide from inside the box following a surging run by Mauricio Isla.

QPR, whose electrifying performances at Loftus Road have given them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation, were listless throughout.

Fer's stoppage-time error in the build-up to the third goal summed up their display and they were booed off by the home fans at the final whistle. 
- Wire Services.

I don’t think people will take us lightly, because of the results we’ve had. In the last calendar year we’ve beaten five Premier League clubs.

— Sheffield United first-team coach Chris Morgan firing a warning to League Cup semi-final opponents Tottenham Hotspur