Harry Redknapp says he is relishing the prospect of being back involved in professional football after being appointed as Derby County’s football advisor.
The 69-year-old joined the club yesterday on a short-term agreement until the end of the current campaign to work alongside Head Coach Darren Wassall and rest of the coaching staff.
Redknapp has been out of the game for just over a year after leaving his position as manager of Queens Park Rangers in February 2015.
He says he is ready to throw himself into the role and enjoy a close working relationship with Wassall, as well as admitting he has missed working in full-time football during the last year.
With vast experience in the English game, Redknapp is happy to provide Wassall with ‘another pair of eyes’ and his opinion whenever it is required.
He told Rams Player HD: “I have missed working in football. Only this afternoon I was speaking to Darren about the lows and when your weekends are sometimes ruined by results!
“You never get used to that, but that aside, I have missed the day-to-day of it. I have missed being out on the training field watching the boys train and it is great to be back watching good footballers again. I have missed that.
“I’m here for if Darren needs anything else at all and to be another pair of eyes for him. He’s the Head Coach, he will pick the team and if he wants my opinion then I will give it to him.
“I want to be involved. There’s no point in me coming here for nine weeks and not doing anything, so I’m going to have to throw myself into the role a little bit, but I’m sure that I can help him.
“He’s happy for me to do that. That’s the key, he has got to be happy for me to work alongside him otherwise this won’t work.
“Darren is a smashing lad and hopefully I can play a small part in helping this club get promoted come the end of the season. All I want to see is Derby get to the Premier League.”
He added: “It’s exciting, it’s a good challenge and I agreed to do it for him. On Sunday, I had a phone call from the Chairman here at Derby and Sam Rush rang me too.
“They both asked me to come and have a chat with them, I did, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to come and work here until the end of the season.”
Redknapp took in a tour of Derby’s training facilities this morning, alongside Wassall, and was impressed with what he saw.
He said: “The facilities are absolutely amazing, just incredible.
“Everything is here and the club is geared up for the Premier League.
“It’s just an amazing training ground. Everything about the place is just top class.”
Redknapp is looking forward to getting a feel for Derby’s players and learning about the club.
He does, however, already have a good understand of the Rams’ squad and he believes the club has a strong group of players to call upon.
“This period is about getting a feel for the players, being around the place, watching the games, seeing how they are playing and assessing the mood of the training ground,”he said.
“If I can just add or two little bits that can help Darren, then that’s what I’m looking to do. It’s not a case of coming in and looking to bring in new players, because this club has got a group that is more than good enough to get promoted.
“For me, this is still the best squad in the division. I have been saying that all year. It’s down to the players; Darren can only do so much. People always ask me what makes a great manager and I always answer with it’s down to great players.
“If you have got good players, it’s an easier job. Derby have that. They have also got some good characters and if they stick together then they will be just fine.
“I look at the boy Richard Keogh and he looks a real winner to me. People like him are going to be important and I’m sure there are a few more here that will make the difference in this run in.”
Redknapp is also due to take charge of the Jordan international team during the March international break for their matches against Bangladesh and Australia.
During that time, he won’t miss any Derby matches as the side aren’t in action until the game at Cardiff City on Saturday 2nd April, once the small matter of this weekend’s East Midlands derby against Nottingham Forest is dealt with.
He said: “I met Prince Ali (Bin Al Hussein) after he flew out to meet me in London last Saturday and asked me if I would be interested in taking Jordan for two Qualifying games.
“They play Bangladesh, who are bottom of the group, but then they have got to play Australia, who are top.
“It’s during the international break and I’ll be back as soon as the matches are over.”
On the game against Forest, Redknapp added: “What a game to get started. I have watched these Derby County and Nottingham Forest games before and they always come with a fantastic atmosphere.
“At home, we have got the players to win the game and I’m sure that Darren will have the boys up and at it. If we can get that win on Saturday, before the other teams play, we will be able to see where we go from there.”
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