MARTIN: HARRY IS ‘INVALUABLE’
HARRY Redknapp has helped Portsmouth and QPR reach the Premier League – and striker Chris Martin is hoping that experience will help Derby County join the list.
Despite agreeing to manage Jordan for their next two World Cup qualifiers, Redknapp was appointed football advisor at Derby last Wednesday.
At 69, there isn’t much Redknapp hasn’t seen or done in the world of football, having also lifted the FA Cup with Portsmouth as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Tottenham.
And while he has been out of football since leaving QPR 13 months ago, the Rams have hired the man once linked with the England job in order to stop lightning striking twice. Last season Derby looked set for automatic promotion as they led the Championship in March, but two wins in the last 13 matches saw them finish eighth.
This campaign, the Rams sat pretty at the summit on Boxing Day but sacked manager Paul Clement just over a month later with Darren Wassall taking up the reins.
And while the saying goes that too many cooks spoil the broth, Martin is sure the wily Redknapp could prove the difference to the Rams this time around.
“He’s a very experienced man and hopefully he can help us in our final push,” Martin said. “I think that’s the reason that the chairman (Mel Morris) and Darren Wassall moved to bring him in and that’s something that we can tap into as players.
“We are still in the race.That little bit of knowledge that he can bring can be invaluable to us; I don’t think we need massive changes.
“We have got a very good squad, we have got great facilities here and everything is in place.
“Having that little knack to be able to see games out, especially with what happened last week (the Rams let slip a three-goal lead in the final eight minutes to draw 3-3 at Rotherham), could be key for us.
“He’s been at a lot of clubs and seen a lot of things in football and I’m sure that experience will be passed on to everyone over the remaining games of the season.”
One thing Redknapp won’t need to fix is Martin’s nose for goal as, after going a little over two months without scoring, the 27year-old had found the net four times in his previ- ous six games heading into yesterday’s derby with Nottingham Forest.
And though he didn’t get on the scoresheet as Derby won the East Midlands showdown 1-0 yesterday to get Redknapp off to a flyer, it did help to ease the pain of last week’s late fiasco against Neil Warnock’s relegationhaunted Millers.
“We spoke about it to make sure what happened in those final eight minutes doesn’t happen again,” Martin added.
“We shouldn’t be having to talk about things like this; we are all experienced enough to deal with that.
“Last Saturday was a little bit of a freak result, but having dealt with that disappointment, we have fully focused on how good we were before it.
“Before they scored, our second half performance was one of the best I’ve been part of. We need to take that forward in the run-in.”
SO POSITIVE: Derby County striker Chris Martin and manager Darren Wassall share a light-hearted moment