QPR star hails midfield strength as Redknapp’s side go second

Karl Henry (right) says QPR have plenty of options in midfield this season

Karl Henry (right) says QPR have plenty of options in midfield this season - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Karl Henry believes QPR’s midfield is as good as any in the Championship, and insists he will have no complaints if he finds himself rotated out of the side by Harry Redknapp.

Manager Redknapp signed Henry from Wolves in July, and the man who spent seven years at Molineux has quickly made an impact as QPR’s self-styled ‘midfielder enforcer’, playing alongside Joey Barton as Rangers have remained unbeaten from their first five games.

However, with figures such as Alejandro Faurlin and Jermaine Jenas fighting for a starting spot, Henry knows competition for places will be high, a situation he relishes.

“We have a good squad of players here and some real good central midfielders,” said Henry. I certainly expect rotation throughout the season and whenever I’m selected I look forward to playing and hopefully I can put in some good performances.”

Tough-tackling Henry has already added a physical element to QPR’s midfield, and admits he is revelling in the rough and tumble of England’s second tier.

He added: “It is a shame that it [tackling] is dying a death a little. I like to watch some of the old games, some of the tackles that were going on even five years ago.

“In the Football League tackles go unpunished week in week out. In the Premier League you see yellows and reds for things that you wouldn’t in the Championship.

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“We know the Premier League is a huge money league, the Championship is a more competitive league and I enjoy that side of the game.”

Four wins from their first five league games have left QPR second in the Championship going into the international break. But Henry expects a long hard struggle, with as many as 15 teams – almost two thirds of the league – pushing for promotion to the Premier League.

“Every year there are probably 12 teams in the Championship that feel they have a divine right to be Premier League clubs,” added Henry.

“They are expected to get promoted or be in the top six. Added to that there are the three teams which come down from the Premier League that everyone expects to bounce back up.”