Redknapp: 'No problem' with AVB

  • Last Updated: January 11 2013, 14:33 GMT

Harry Redknapp has denied any animosity exists between himself and Andre Villas-Boas as he plots the downfall of the club that unexpectedly sacked him last summer.

Redknapp: 'No problem' with AVB

Relegation-haunted QPR host Tottenham at Loftus Road on Saturday lunchtime, with Redknapp meeting his former employers for the first time since being shown the door in June.

The build-up to the capital derby has been dominated by the personalities of Redknapp and Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea manager who succeeded him at White Hart Lane and has since guided the club to third place.

Redknapp's departure ended a tumultuous period in his life in which he overcame heart surgery, was cleared of tax evasion, became favourite to coach England before missing out to Roy Hodgson and was linked with Chelsea and then fired by Tottenham.

Having masterminded Spurs' fourth-placed finish in the Premier League, the 65-year-old now finds himself repairing the damage incurred by Mark Hughes' failed regime at QPR, but there is no sense of bitterness.

"I don't have a relationship with Villas-Boas but then I don't have a relationship with any other manager in the Premier League," Redknapp said.

"I don't socialise with him, he's gone to Tottenham and done a great job. What's the problem? I've got no problem with him at all.

"If I had something bad to say about him I'd say it, but I don't know him.

"I'll shake his hand after the game and invite him in for a drink, whatever the result. I don't have any problems with him. He seems a nice guy.

"I won't be thinking 'it's Tottenham, we have to beat them'. QPR are my club now, I'm not interested in Tottenham."

When Redknapp stated that only a "dope" could fail at Stamford Bridge, Villas-Boas responded yesterday with a barb of his own by declaring "you have to be able to access a club like that to experience it".

Redknapp stressed that his comments were a general observation made before QPR's 1-0 victory over Chelsea two weeks ago and were not directed at Villas-Boas.

"I was asked a question about (Chelsea manager) Rafa Benitez and I said he's gone in there and done very well, but you'd have to be a dope to mess up with that squad of players," he said.

"I said Rafa Benitez is not a dope, he's a top manager who will do very well there.

"I never mentioned anyone else, so why people have started relating it to the manager at Tottenham I don't know.

"Villas-Boas hasn't taken my job, he's got a job. When he took over I didn't have the job, I was out of work.

"I don't spend my life worrying about what he or Tottenham are doing. My life doesn't work like that."

Redknapp insisted that his demise at White Hart Lane came as a shock, but bears no grudge towards Spurs chief executive Daniel Levy.

"I didn't sense the end was coming, it never entered my mind that I would be leaving there. It was very sudden, but that's football," he said.

"It had been quite a hectic four months around that period. I didn't go home that night and lock myself in a dark room or anything. That's life. There are no hard feelings whatsoever.

"The first person who called me when I was made manager of QPR was Daniel Levy to wish me all the best."

Redknapp hopes that Ryan Nelsen, who has agreed to become manager of Toronto FC, will stay for as long as possible and confirmed that Steve Cotterill has joined QPR's coaching staff on a short-term basis.

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