Redknapp: Rio leads by example

  • Last Updated: August 15 2014, 13:27 BST

Rio Ferdinand does not need the captain's armband to spearhead QPR's Barclays Premier League survival fight, according to Harry Redknapp.

Rio Ferdinand is looking forward to a new challenge with QPR
Rio Ferdinand is looking forward to a new challenge with QPR

Clint Hill remains Rangers' official club skipper, but Ferdinand is favourite to lead the side on the field in the former Crystal Palace defender's absence.

The pairing of Ferdinand and Steven Caulker in QPR's new-look back three could limit Hill's starting chances this term. Redknapp said he will review the on-field captaincy on a weekly basis any time Hill does not secure a starting berth.

"I haven't really looked at a vice-captain, I'm not one that gets that bothered about it," said Redknapp ahead of Saturday's league opener against Hull.

"Making Rio captain, would it make him any different? Not really. He would talk and boss people just the same.

"I haven't spoken to anyone, I haven't spoken to Clint, but we'll probably take it as it comes each week, depending on who's in the team.

"It can change. Rio's had a fantastic impact, he's just class around the place.

"He just oozes class, he's a top player and you can't replace that. He's been there and done it all, he's won everything there is to win, so we're just delighted to have him here.

"He'll definitely be a big influence on Steven (Caulker), I think he'll be a big influence on all the players.

"They look at how he trains, how he works: every day he comes in, works hard, lives his life right, he's always at the front of what we're doing in training and he's in great condition.

"He's a model professional."

Redknapp confirmed wantaway midfielder Adel Taarabt is not in contention for the season opener.

Taarabt is still embroiled in a protracted potential transfer to AC Milan, but Redknapp admitted the deal is still not nearing completion.

Redknapp said the Morocco playmaker needs at least two weeks to find match fitness.

"I don't know what he's going to be doing to be truthful," said Redknapp.

"He's not fit. He's a good player when he's fit but I think he's looking to move.

"We just need a club to come in and pay the money, he's got a reasonable transfer fee that the chairman has put on his head.

"If anybody wants to buy him they have to come and pay that money. I wish him well because he's a good lad, but he just needs to get fit now.

"He needs to get himself fit to play, whether it's here or somewhere else.

"He's probably not done one day's real training since I've been back here. He's had injuries and everything else, and he's a player that needs to train.

"So he needs a couple of weeks' physical training now to get himself up to speed like the rest of the players."