QPR to keep squad after 'great' run, Fernandes says
12 November 2014, 12:37
Manila - Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes on Wednesday said the club would keep its squad and manager after four "great" games, despite the team languishing near the bottom of the English Premier League table.
Fernandes said that he was satisfied with the players' performance after a tough run of matches against the league's top three teams that had sparked speculation of a shake-up.
"I'm very happy with how it's going with QPR. It's a tough league, but the boys have played well," the Malaysian entrepreneur told AFP during a business trip to the Philippines.
Team manager Harry Redknapp is "in good command", he added, despite a recent public spat with forward Adel Taarabt over the player's fitness.
QPR, which was promoted back into England's top football league this year after being relegated in 2013, narrowly missed a win against Manchester City on Sunday after leading the champions by a goal into the last six minutes.
Fernandes said the club was also "damn unlucky" to lose against Liverpool in a dramatic match last month that saw four goals in the last eight minutes.
Chelsea got away with a "lucky penalty" in their November 1 win against the Hoops, who had beaten Aston Villa five days earlier, he added.
"I think we had a great four games... As chairman of the club, I am thrilled," he said.
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Asked what he intended to do in January to improve the fortunes of his team, currently a point above cellar-dwelling Burnley, Fernandes said: "We'll wait and see. But talk is easy, we got to get the points."
Fernandes, chief executive of Southeast Asian budget carrier AirAsia said managing the QPR squad was like running a business.
"All my life, the most successful businesses are stable businesses with the same management, the same structure," he said.
Fernandes was in Manila on Wednesday to tap Philippine world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to endorse his airline.
An AirAsia jet, with Pacquiao's image painted on it, will be chartered for his World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight against American Chris Algieri in Macau on November 23, he said.
Fernandes, who has used several sports tie-ups to promote his business, said that he has "no regrets" over selling his Formula 1 team Caterham earlier this year and lost "not that much" money in the deal.
The car and technology businesses that he retained from the Caterham venture are expected to be "very profitable", he added.
"The main lesson is focus. In order to do something, you have to be involved 100 percent. You physically can't do it, running an airline, a football team, Formula One," he said.
"Sports is like a wife, you have to get down on just one -- football -- and focus on AirAsia and other businesses."