Rio Ferdinand faces fight to get back into QPR side, says Harry Redknapp

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Oct 31 2014, 15:13pm hrs
Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand, banned for three games after being found guilty of misconduct by the English FA for an "abusive" Twitter comment, faces a battle to get back into the first team, according to manager Harry Redknapp.

Ferdinand, 35, who has made an indifferent start at QPR following his move from Manchester United, was also fined 25,000 pounds ($40,000) and ordered to attend an education programme as part of the punishment handed down following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

Redknapp, speaking to reporters on Thursday before QPR face Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday, said he had not seen the FA's report and could not comment on it, or whether the club would appeal the ruling.

Ferdinand missed QPR's match against Liverpool on Oct. 19 -- a game in which they played far better than they had been with him in the team, despite losing 3-2.

They also played well without him to beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Loftus Road on Monday when they moved off the bottom of the table and Redknapp praised the performances of centre backs Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker.

"The lads who played at the back played very well, they were outstanding and I thought Richard Dunne was man of the match the other night," he said.

"Rio understands that. The team played well against Liverpool and now he just has to wait for his chance to get back in and he has to keep working hard until the opportunity comes."

SOCIAL MEDIA

Ferdinand hinted on the Jonathan Ross TV show last week that he was considering retiring at the end of the season, but Redknapp says that despite the current situation, Ferdinand was still part of his plans.

"I want Rio available for every game, that's for sure," Redknapp said, "and he will get back into the team".

"We haven't got that many defenders, Clint Hill is coming back which is good, Nedum Onuoha is out with a hamstring, that was a blow to us, we are not overloaded there."

Redknapp said he knew nothing about social media and did not know what Twitter was and said he had no idea of exactly what it was that Ferdinand had done wrong.

But the FA found the former England skipper guilty of tweeting a remark, which was deemed "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper", to a member of the public in September."

The tweet, which was broadcast to Ferdinand's 5.9 million followers, used the word 'sket', which is a derogatory term defined as "a promiscuous girl or woman".

The defender had been tagged in a message that read: "Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre back) they need one."

In response, he tweeted: "get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket."

Ferdinand, who played 81 games for England, was previously found guilty of improper conduct and fined 45,000 pounds in 2012 for comments he made on Twitter about Ashley Cole.

Redknapp was more upbeat about his midfielder Adel Taarabt, who he accused of being overweight recently.

He said the two had resolved their differences and the Morocco international could feature in Saturday's squad at Stamford Bridge.