Harry Redknapp says Samba Diakite faces Queens Park Rangers battle

Samba Diakite: Out of the picture at Rangers

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Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has warned midfielder Samba Diakite he will have to battle to earn a place in the team.

Diakite, who was an integral part of the Mali squad that finished third at recent the Africa Cup of Nations, has not played for Rangers since the 3-0 reverse to Liverpool in December.

Redknapp signed Jermaine Jenas on loan from Tottenham in January to boost an already congested central midfield which includes Esteban Granero, Stephane Mbia and Ji-Sung Park.

And the Rangers manager expects the Mali international to respond positively to the challenge.

Redknapp said: "His form dipped a little bit before he went away. The Liverpool game was a disappointment.

"And now there's Jermaine Jenas, there's Park, there's Granero and Mbia - we've got a group of them central midfielders.

"But Samba's a good lad, and I like him and he's training well. I guess he could be in the team anytime."