TORONTO -- Harry Redknapp got a rude shock after taking over Queens Park Rangers in November 2012. Charley Brock . The team was in last place in the English Premier League, its roster filled with bloated contracts and egos. "The attitude stank. Attitude towards the game, attitude towards training," he wrote in his autobiography "Always Managing." "I cant remember a worse one -- and behaviour like that cannot be altered overnight." Redknapp, however, found one kindred spirit. "Within weeks I had worked out that my best player was Ryan Nelsen, a 35-year-old New Zealand international -- and he couldnt wait to get out," Redknapp wrote. "`Youve got no chance, he told me. Not a prayer. This is the worst dressing room Ive ever been in in my life. You havent got a hope with this lot. I dont know how you solve it." Today, Nelsen is in his second season as manager of Toronto FC. He recalls his season with QPR -- his finale as a player -- as a ringside seat on what happens when a dressing room goes wrong. "It was an amazing learning experience for me," he said in an interview this week. Redknapp, whose team was relegated at the end of the 2012-13 season, is on the verge of taking QPR back to the Premier League after one season in the Championship. QPR faces Derby Country on Saturday at Wembley in a promotion playoff worth up to 120 million pounds (C$220.5 million), mostly from broadcast rights, according to a 2013 report by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. With reported debts of 177 million pounds (C$325 million), Queens Park Rangers could do with hitting the promotion jackpot despite the deep pockets of millionaire owner Tony Fernandes. Among the things Nelsen learned at QPR was the need to get recruitment right, to watch wages and that a good football team needs chemistry off the field as well as organization in it. "It was an environment that probably players were getting paid too much for potentially their mentality to win," he said of QPR. "Young guys probably on too much before they had earned it." There were also older players who might have lost their fire. And second-tier Championship players who had the character desire but perhaps not the talent needed. "Everybody tried their best to get the mixture right, but it just didnt jell," said Nelsen. "It was just wrong." The ill-fated QPR spending spree was funded by Fernandes, a British-Malaysian businessman whose net worth as of February was valued at US$650 million according to Forbes magazine. He took over in August 2011, almost a year before Nelsen came on board. The New Zealand international didnt expect to play much at QPR, thinking his job would be to help then-manager Mark Hughes and successor Redknapp off the pitch. He ended up playing 21 league matches, becoming captain and turning into a fan favourite before leaving in January 2103 to take over Toronto FC. Nelsen points no fingers today, saying the intentions of Hughes and Fernandes "were so right for the club to do really well." The rot had set in too much by the time Redknapp took over. "There had to be a clearout before you could get it back again," he said. There are more fashionable soccer teams in London but Loftus Road, QPRs home in Shepherds Bush, has seen its share of players with flair in Rodney Marsh, Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis in the 1960s and 70s. A blue-collar club, QPR won the League Cup in 1966-67 and was runner-up in 1985-86. It was also runner-up in the FA Cup in 1981-82 and was runner-up in the First Division, precursor to the Premier League, in 1975-76. Celebrity QPR fans included musicians Phil Collins, Pete Doherty and composer Michael Nyman. A no-nonsense defender at the end of his playing career, Nelsens work ethic appealed to the QPR fans tired of rental players on big salaries. "I think they just liked that I worked hard and tried to win games," said Nelsen. "People respected that." Nelsen loved the QPR supporters right back. "But it wasnt right off the field," he said of the team. "And that weighed heavily on me because I was kind of brought in to help that out." QPR was relegated several months after Nelsens departure to Canada. According to the Daily Mail, the clubs wage bill was higher than that of Spanish champion and Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid. Toronto benefited from the subsequent clearout, with Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar coming to MLS on a loan agreement. Loic Remy (Newcastle) and Adel Taarabt (AC Milan) were also sent out on loan. Cesar, whose attitude has earned nothing but praise from Toronto coaches and players, says QPR wants him back in August. The team will have to reload if it returns to the Premier League. Redknapp, a master wheeler and dealer, brought in hardened veterans of the Championship to help climb back up the mountain. "He invested really wisely," said Nelsen. "He moved guys that probably had big value. And in saying that, their value has probably increased." Nelsen will be watching closely this weekend. "Ive got a lot of friends on that QPR team," he said. In addition to the big-time Charlies, he remembers of group of honest players desperate to succeed. "And QPR had them. They probably got outnumbered bit a little at the end but those guys, you wish them the best so badly. and for Harry as well, because at his age (now 67) he probably could have gone off and retired somewhere. But he knuckled down in the Championship and you wish them all the success. "All of his coaching staff were fantastic when I was there. And theyve helped me since Ive been here, to tell you the truth." Oscar McBride . The Toronto Argonauts signed the veteran linebacker to a three-year deal Tuesday, hours after the start of CFL free agency. Chuck ONeil . You can watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 9pm et/6pm pt. Jonathan Huberdeau and Quinton Howden are expected to make their debuts for Team Canada. https://www.cheapnfljerseyschina.co/anthony-simmons-jersey-for-sale/ .com) - The Denver Nuggets snapped a losing streak last time out and will try to carry that momentum Saturday night when they welcome the Indiana Pacers to the Pepsi Center.MONACO -- Novak Djokovic began the defence of his Monte Carlo Masters title in flamboyant style Tuesday, taking only 45 minutes to beat Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 and maintain his perfect record against the Spaniard. The second-ranked Serb won 11 consecutive games and improved to 6-0 against Montanes, who has taken only one set off Djokovic. "For the first match on clay, it was great. There were not too many flaws in my game," Djokovic said. "I was just trying to use the court well, not allowing him to get into the rhythm. I was changing the angles, coming to the net, being aggressive." The speed and ease of the win reminded him of when he beat Czech player Jan Hernych 6-0, 6-0 five years ago in the second round at Basel, Switzerland. "Its great that you have a chance to finish your work on the court in such a short time," he said. "On the other (hand), I would like to have a little bit more longer rallies, bigger challenge so I can test myself, see where I am, where my game is at this moment on clay." The only small drawback for Djokovic is that he has some soreness in his right wrist. "I have a certain problem that I carry for the last week or so," he said. "The short match today helped definitely. So Im going to have some time to heal it." Djokovic has won two Masters titlles this year, beating Rafael Nadal in Key Biscayne and Roger Federer at Indian Wells. Mike Fink. He is also looking for his fifth straight Masters title after winning Paris and Shanghai at the end of last year. He faces Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round, who beat 14th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 7-6 (4), or Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. French Open runner-up David Ferrer of Spain needed a bit longer to reach the third round, taking just over one hour to beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-0 after dropping his opening service game. Ferrer, who lost the final here to Nadal in 2011, next plays 12th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or Albert Ramos of Spain. Ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also advanced to round three after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. In the first round, Dimitrov beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, while 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia lost to Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 7-6 (4) and No. 16 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland was beaten by Michael Llodra of France 6-4, 6-2. Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia beat Gilles Simon of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will next play Nadal on Wednesday, while Croat Marin Cilic beat Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 and faces Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, the third seed. ' ' '