QPR manager Harry Redknapp has suggested football fans were falling out of love with the FA Cup after only 8,984 turned up at Loftus Road.
Redknapp watched Kieron Dyer rescue his FA Cup dreams with an injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw against West Brom today.
He said: “You see teams going half-hearted at the FA Cup for some reason, teams that are in the middle of the table.
“People want to see Premier League football I think, maybe the sales were more exciting for them than QPR and West Brom today. You’ll find lots of clubs with attendances down.”
Redknapp also admitted he faces losing key defender and club vice-captain Ryan Nelsen in the January transfer window.
Nelsen, 35, has been linked in recent days with a coaching role at former club DC United in the United States and Redknapp admitted there was substance in the speculation.
Redknapp said: “There is some truth in the rumour I’m afraid. Nelsen is very important to us, a fantastic leader, a top player. But he has been offered a job in America and I think there is every chance he might want to go.
“He wants to be a manager and it is a chance for him to manage a club.
“He has been fantastic. I took him to Tottenham last year from Blackburn. He’s one of the best pros I’ve ever met in my life, a fantastic player, a great trainer, a leader. He is a massive part of your team. To lose him would be a massive blow for us.”
Nelsen is in the middle of a one-year contract but Redknapp said: “I’ll have to speak to the owner to see what the situation is with that. We’ll try (to keep him) but it is difficult.”
Meanwhile, Dyer’s injury-time goal, which equalised Shane Long’s second-half strike, was his first goal in top flight football since May 2007.
Redknapp said: “It was a bit late. I tried a few different players today but couldn’t really see the goal coming. We were a bit short really.
“It was a good finish from Kieron. He got through a full game which was good. He’s kept going. He hasn’t played a full game since I don’t know when.
“I didn’t want to get beat. It was important to stop getting beaten. The draw today, following the win against Chelsea, is not bad. West Brom are not a bad side. They are strong, well organised with a bit of flair. You can see why they are in the top half of the table.”
Redknapp gave new signing Tal Ben Haim a debut at left back but admitted it had not been successful.
“I played him at left back and he is a right-sided player,” said Redknapp “He was completely on the wrong side. I know that but didn’t have any left backs so that was a problem. It left us with no balance.”
Meanwhile West Brom assistant coach Kevin Keen said: “We are a fraction disappointed with a replay but we’ll take them back to the Hawthorns and have another go.
“Kieron Dyer is an old friend of mine and he popped up with a good goal. Good luck to him, I hope he can carry on for a few years yet. He gives his heart and soul every game.”