Mark Hughes gets QPR vote of confidence, as Redknapp waits

Nov 20, 2012

QPR owner agonises over future of Hughes after club takes only four points from first 12 games of season

QPR MANAGER Mark Hughes received the dreaded vote of confidence on Monday night after a long meeting with the club's chief executive Philip Beard. The Rangers' boss met Beard amid fevered speculation that his reign was about to come to an end. 

Hughes didn't attend training on Monday in the wake of the Hoops dismal home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Southampton, prompting rumours that the QPR board had finally run out of patience with the Welshman.

Saturday's defeat left Rangers languishing at the bottom of the Premier League with just four points from the first 12 games of the season. They are now five points adrift of Southampton, and many fans have turned against Hughes.

But Hughes's agent Kia Joorabchian told BBC Sport that the rumours that he was on the way out were "not true at all", and that was also the message from the club. Ian Taylor, the club's head of media and communications, tweeted late on Monday: "Rumours suggesting Mark Hughes has been sacked as QPR manager tonight are not true."

So far QPR owner Tony Fernandes has been consistent in his support for the manager he brought to Loftus Road in January this year. But he appeared to express anger in the wake of Saturday's defeat. "Everyone including me let the fans down," he tweeted. "Many of us need a hard look at themselves."

The Guardian says the result "has pressed Fernandes into a bout of soul-searching as he torments himself over whether to sack Hughes". The paper notes that it would be expensive to get rid of the Welshman, who has also restructured much of the club's coaching, youth and scouting set up.

Harry Redknapp has been strongly linked to the post if it does become vacant. The former Spurs and West Ham boss who could now add a west London club to his CV is said to have links to the club through vice-chairman Amit Bhatia. Appearing on Match of the Day at the weekend he said he would not comment "until something happens".

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I'm not a particular fan of Hughes, but to be honest, he picked up the poisoned chalice when he got the QPR gig. He should have seen this coming when he took over two days after Neil Warnock was sacked.

Again, I am not a particular fan of Warnock, but he had taken QPR from 20th in the Championship to promotion in his second season in charge, He was sacked when they were 17th the Premiership: under Hughes, they have not been higher than 16th.

Given that Hughes took over within two days, it's logical to assume he had spoken to the club's owners while Warnock was still in charge. Anyone like to bet that Redknapp has already been in discussions with Tony Fernandes?

Hughes still has more matches to play. Slipping down to the relegation area is quite scary but QPR can play out for a good season's ending. He can stay on and play the best to be the closest guy to the big four champs.