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New QPR manager Harry Redknapp has said he needed break from football after the last year

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012 09:28 | Comments

Harry Redknapp faces his first match with QPR tonight away to Sunderland
Harry Redknapp faces his first match with QPR tonight away to Sunderland

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Harry Redknapp admits he needed a break from football after capping the craziest year of his life by taking the QPR job.

Redknapp returned from his five-and-a-half month exile on Monday charged with masterminding another great escape from relegation, with QPR taking just four points from 13 games ahead of tonight's trip to Sunderland.

Succeeding in what he admitted was the "toughest" assignment of his managerial career should be child's play compared to the stress of beating charges of a far more serious nature back in February.

Then, Redknapp was fighting for his very freedom in a tax evasion trial which ultimately saw him cleared.

The footballing disappointments which followed - being snubbed for the England job and sacked by Tottenham - simply compounded what had been an emotionally exhausting first half of 2012 for the 65-year-old.

Asked if it had been the craziest year of his life, he said: "Yeah, oh yeah. Certainly. The whole thing was a bit bizarre, wasn't it?

"I probably needed a break. Maybe it wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to me."

"I probably needed a break. Maybe it wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to me." - Harry Redknapp

Neither was losing out to Roy Hodgson for the England job or being sacked by Spurs, according to Redknapp.

"I didn't go home that night when I heard on the radio that Roy had been given the England job and lock myself up in a room," he said.

"I didn't go away from Tottenham that night when Daniel Levy sacked me and want to jump off the edge of Bournemouth Pier. The next day I am up playing golf. I mean, what can I do? That is the way that I am."

Redknapp claims he did not attend a Barclays Premier League game this season for fear of his presence being misinterpreted as a sign one of the managers involved was set for the chop.

Instead, he watched a lot of football on television and at his beloved Bournemouth, where he took on an advisory role in September.

He also spent time in the local community, which includes Victoria Education Centre & Sports College, a haven of high-quality care for disabled youngsters.

"You want to go up to see all these kids at Victoria school," he said.

"That is life. This is only football. It is only a game."

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