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Capturing Hughes is a coup for QPR

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Phil McNulty | 12:49 UK time, Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mark Hughes walked away from Fulham and left behind a message from his trusted representative Kia Joorabchian. Their aspirations and ambitions simply did not match those of his client.

Chelsea was mentioned as the sort of destination that might suit Hughes with Joorabchian saying on departure in June: "He wants to go to a club where he can fight for titles and win championships."

Quite whether Queen's Park Rangers was the club Hughes had in mind when he cleared his desk at Craven Cottage is purely guesswork.

They fought, and won, the battle for the Championship last season but the idea of a title challenge a tier up is, to put it politely, fanciful.

Mark Hughes

Can Hughes guide QPR into the upper reaches of the Premier League? Photo: Getty

And yet Hughes has made Loftus Road the next stop on his managerial journey, presumably with cast-iron guarantees from owner Tony Fernandes that he can at least try to fulfil his elevated ambitions.

No title this season or for the forseeable future, indeed avoiding relegation will be the priority as he succeeds sacked Neil Warnock with QPR in a precarious 17th place in the league, without a win in eight games.

The appointment is being lauded as a coup for Fernandes while Hughes, having enjoyed the riches at Manchester City before his sour departure, is now moving in circles more akin to his time at Blackburn.

He will not be operating at the top end of the scale, but former Wales team-mate and friend Barry Horne insists this does not mean his targets will be downsized.

He told BBC Sport: "QPR will have had to convince Mark they are for real. The owners will have had to convince Mark what their ambitions are, where they see the club going, whether they are looking to go big, spend money and be a serious player. If they are, then he ticks every box.

"In my opinion it would have been Mark interviewing QPR rather than QPR interviewing Mark. They will know exactly what he brings and it would have been a case of him ensuring they tick all his boxes when it comes to ambition and what level they wish to operate at."

Horne added: "Mark has had a rounded career as a manager. He arrived at a good moment with Wales as he took charge of a good squad that was hugely underperforming, but he still had to do what he did and did it successfully.

"He then had a team that showed remarkable resilience at Blackburn. I watched them so many times when they were a team transformed after his half-time team talks, then at Fulham he did another great job even though their fans were unsure at first.

"Mark was questioned in some quarters for walking away from Fulham but he had his reasons and never broke his contract. It was not some sort of fit of pique or a row - it was his right.

"And at Manchester City he definitely played his part in ensuring they made that quantum leap from where they were to where they are now.

"QPR will get a fine team behind the manager in Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki. I know them well and preparation, attention to detail and all the meticulous work that the modern level of football requires will be brought to bear."

Hughes, Horne believes, will also bring the winning mentality Fernandes desperately needs to drag QPR away from the margins of the relegation zone.

"He will come into the dressing room and be calm but very authoratitive," said Horne. "This authority comes from his personality. In every respect he will command respect.

"Mark is known as a winner, a man decorated in the game, so this will give him a headstart with his group. He will get a longer honeymoon period with his players because they know of his stature."

And QPR's players can expect a tough taskmaster on the training ground according to Michael Gray, who played under Hughes at Blackburn.

When asked to outline his methods recently, he told me: "He is out on the training ground every single day and knows exactly what he wants from his players.

"Mark would work players like they have never been worked before. He would hit the ground running because that is the way he works.

"We finished sixth in the Premier League under him at Blackburn and a large part of this was because he had us so well prepared and so fit. In the last 15 minutes we used to overpower teams and we didn't fear anyone."

Lee Dixon, an old Arsenal adversary of Hughes when he was a striker to be feared at Manchester United and Chelsea, believes Loftus Road may be a neat fit for the 48-year-old Welshman.

He told BBC Sport: "QPR, with the owners' situation, looks like a club that has potential to spend in transfer windows.

"It is a club I always liked playing at, with a really good atmosphere, so maybe he has looked at all of that. The main thing is whether he will get money to spend and presumably he will have sought those assurances.

"He did very well at Blackburn. It is a very difficult proposition going into a club like Manchester City, with the resources they have got.

"It is probably every manager's dream but expectations are high and you are not given long to sort things out because everybody wants instant success.

"From that point of view he may even have wanted to shy away from another job that would be similar to City.

"He's jumping back on the horse if you like, but he clearly feels the potential is there given the way the club is run under its new ownership."

Now Hughes is back on the horse, the ambitous Fernandes will be hoping his new manager can make it gather enough strength to clear the hazardous obstacles ahead.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog from Barry Horne and Lee Dixon.

    Hughes won't be at QPR long. He's just there to bide his time until Barca come knocking.


    Look at your ambition now Sparky!

  • Comment number 2.

    You only have to look in aound clubs where Colin (Warnock) is the manager, rhere is always chaos, situations always happening on touchlines, players scrapping, arguing, always some undercurrent or another, Clint Hill, Joey bless him, Shaun Derry, all certain types od charachter, the new crazy gang and that was QPR

    In a nutshell, they want a Premiership manager, not a Sunday morning 'gaffer` who rants and raves, as that doesn't sit easily with the people at the top at Loftus Rd

  • Comment number 3.

    I cant understand his delusions of grandure.
    Has had a very average career in management so far and nothing suggest he wont be using his basic ex-pro no-frills tactics at QPR to keep them teetering above relegation for the rest of the season. A poor decision.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not sure that QPR would have gone down this season anyway, Warnock isn't a bad manager. Will Hughes add anything more that Warnock did? I don't think so. I also feel he jumped too soon from Fulham and went down in my estimation as a loyal manager. Ambitious? QPR? Mmmm?

  • Comment number 5.

    it will be interesting to see if Hughes will have the same effect O'Neil has had at Sunderland. There are some quality players there.

    My hunch tells me it will be touch and go to keep QPR. Always had a soft spot for Rangers ever since Stanley Bowles.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm sure both sides understand what they are getting here.

    Hughes did a good job picking up Blackburn who were in a worse state than QPR. He'll probably get mid-table and move on. The owners of QPR would probably take that and they re-evaluate their ambition/position at that time and find a replacement accordingly.

  • Comment number 7.

    I really can't see Hughes remaining there if a big job comes calling. I do think he will do a descent job in the meantime and I’m sure he will keep QPR in the EPL.

  • Comment number 8.

    It looks like a good fit-a club with a bit of money to spend and an ambitious manager. Is it time to resurrect the debate about English managers though? By my calculations the premiership now has 6 Scottish managers, 2 Welsh managers, 2 Northern Irish managers and only 4 English managers. It could of course be a statistical anomaly, but I'm not sure that the Premiership or even the Championship are easy places to learn your trade. When teams are in trouble they tend to try and buy their way out - managers don't have a great opportunity to develop man management skills and tactical awareness. Teams in the SPL/international sides have little alternative. Anyone have any thoughts?

  • Comment number 9.

    As a player I always was a fan of Sparky. Being Welsh, it was bound to happen. As a club manager, I'm not really a fan. The way he left Fulham for bigger and better things(QPR?), as well as the way he refused to criticise Tevez after the whole Munich episode, left a bad taste in my mouth.

    However I do think it is a good appointement by QPR and I think he will keep them up. Similar to the job he did at Blackburn, I think he will get them up to mid table and bring in a few decent players. But as long as he keeps them safely at mid table and in the Premier League, its obviously a good appointement for QPR.

    After doing this, I fully expect him to leave QPR, probibly at short notice and really in the lurch in order to go after a job he feels is more around his level, and the cycle begins again.

  • Comment number 10.

    @8.At 14:55 10th Jan 2012, cw15 wrote:

    "By my calculations the premiership now has 6 Scottish managers, 2 Welsh managers, 2 Northern Irish managers and only 4 English managers"

    Is that because no English manager has ever won the EPL or have no English managers won the EPL because there are so few of them?

  • Comment number 11.

    Hughes and his 'ambitions'... was Man City ambitious enough for him?

  • Comment number 12.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 13.

    He requires money to be successful (depending on how you describe "success") and no doubt will have sought assurances from the board that plenty of transfer funds would be made available. He will be glad that his old croney SWP is there and I now expect him to attempt big money deals for Samba, Santa Cruz and Pedersen. Keep with what you know.

    He'll keep them up then go nuts with the chequebook in the summer, hoover up all manner of average talent and gain a league place a season. Tough on Warnock, but they obviously trust Hughes more with the money. Yikes!

  • Comment number 14.

    As a Utd fan and massive admirer of Mark Hughes; I was left bemused by Barry Horne's comments. Hughes has never won anything and what did he actually do that was so successful with Wales? did they qualify for anything? I wish him well and truly hope he is successful but thus far his results have not matched this so-called ambition & therefore his ability is still unknow. I do however think he's an improvement over Warnock. Warnock seems to have the capacity to galvanise an ordinary team to scramble their way to promotion from the lower leagues but seems to lose his way at the top level. That said he's always good for a post match rant and that is quite refreshing.

  • Comment number 15.

    Glad United have already been to QPR. Sparky will get the crowd bang involved in that crackling tight little arena by getting the team kicking, tripping and blocking everything that moves, whinging about every decision given or not given, time-wasting to ridiculous levels and generally becoming a spiteful team to play against - and in between all that he'll get them producing the odd bit of outrageous quality football, and organise their set plays, both to good enough effect that they'll probably have enough to make mid-table. Good luck Sparky. Hope you get battered at Old Trafford.

  • Comment number 16.

    When is Roque Santa Cruz due at QPR for his medical?

  • Comment number 17.

    What an over-rated man Mark Hughes truly is. What has he done again? Why do people think he is worthy of a "bigger job" if and when it comes calling? He has no managerial pedigree whatsoever and is quite clearly a mercenary.

    It's no coincidence that he was just about the only person defending Carlos Tevez after the Munich debacle when they are represented by the same soul-sucking leech that is Joorabchian. His "friend" Barry Horne even confirms it for us - "it was more like Hughes interviewing QPR." He's bsaically said "pay me this much" and "give me this much to spend or I'll tell the press you can't match my ambition".

    Sadly, people seem to buy into this unfounded arrogance and interpret it to mean that he is actually a good manager. Needless to say, I cannot stand the man and I'm actually thankful that he got the QPR job because hopefully it means he won't be in the running if and when Harry Redknapp needs replacing at the Lane.

  • Comment number 18.

    'Coup P R' indeed. Especially as Sir Alex probably wanted to get him playing again.

  • Comment number 19.

    So much to say. I felt sorry for Hughes when we he was unceremoniously fired at City but as a Fulham fan, i was appalled when he left the club. He basically stated that we lacked ambition...well....why on earth has he gone to QPR? Also, he may have been called in as a saviour but it took him five months to start turning things around at Fulham (few of us will forget the Boxing Day debacle vs. West Ham on Boxing Day, 2010).....what makes him think he can turn what is a very ordinary squad around? Why would a Drogba or Samba join a struggling team? I think this is a panic appointment move and one that is doomed to failure....

  • Comment number 20.

    @17.At 15:12 10th Jan 2012, nikolaybollukov wrote:
    "His "friend" Barry Horne even confirms it for us - "it was more like Hughes interviewing QPR." He's bsaically said "pay me this much" and "give me this much to spend or I'll tell the press you can't match my ambition"."


    They should have told him to clear off and appointed Sven instead!

  • Comment number 21.

    Two and a half years?

    No chance.

  • Comment number 22.

    This is laughable.

    Sparky leaves Fulham because he wants to win titles. So does he believe QPR are going to be bringing down Europe in ther next few years?

    Not a chance. He's joined them because no big club will touch him. Not surprised after he decided to spend 20 million on Roque Santa Cruz.

    Good player for United, but as a manager he's become a journeyman, which is a shame.

    Will never be anything more than a Sam Allardyce style 'play the percentages' manager.

  • Comment number 23.

    One of the laughable things about all of this is that he played the victim when he was binned off by City and Mancini (who apparently had been waiting in the wings for weeks) was shuffled in.

    Yet here he is, apparently waiting in the wings for weeks, knowing he just had to bide his time before taking another manager's job.

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Phil,

    Just a comment on the opening statement!

    "Mark Hughes walked away from Fulham and left behind a message from his trusted representative Kia Joorabchian. Their aspirations and ambitions simply did not match those of his client."

    What has he proved yet?

    Aspirations? What are these from QPR.

    He just needed a job, any job. I understand this I have been there.

    He is not the messiah and has a lot to prove himself IMHO.

    This as a rabid MU supporter.

    Get real.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think QPR have got ambition, a decent squad and a bit of money - a perfect fit for Hughes. Within a couple of seasons I wouldn't be surprised if they were comfortably mid table, challenging for Europa league.
    Then Hughes will likely leave for a bigger job, having furthered both his and the club's reputation. A good appointment for both parties.

  • Comment number 26.

    Think people are being a little harsh on Sparky. Rovers played some cracking football under his tenure as did Wales. People questioning what he won whilst at these teams are being unfair as he got Wales to a play off and got Blackburn up to around 7th i think. Don't think there's many managers who would have acheived more with these 2 teams.

    Forget the City debacle as he was treated appallingly after inheriting a team of mercenaries the 'fans' incredibly backed Robinho and Elano over him leaving his position untenable.

    The Fulham situation left a poor taste in the mouth and you do wonder what influence that crazed agent may be having on him!!

  • Comment number 27.

    I believe Mark Hughes will be a good manager for QPR; he sets a team up solidly and helps them improve. The thing I think could pose a problem is that Hughes likes managing teams with money to spend, and whilst we all know QPR have wealthy backers and were seem as the money-men of the Championship, I don't know that the club has the sort of money, in Premiership terms, that Hughes wants to play with in the transfer market.

  • Comment number 28.

    8.At 14:55 10th Jan 2012, cw15 wrote:

    To be fair, Fergie & Dalglish are from another era. Of the rest:

    Redknapp: Bournemouth was it?
    Hodgson: I'm too young to know that! Probably some obscure team from Isle of Man.
    Pardew: Plied his trade in the lower leagues before West Ham?
    Rodgers: Reading (Championship)
    Kean: Less said the better
    Coyle: Burnley (Championship)
    Moyes: Preston (League 1?)
    Lambert: no idea
    Hughes: Wales
    O' Neill: Wycombe?
    Pulis: Not sure but know he managed Gillingham at some point.
    McCarthy: Wolves seems to ring a bell but don't quote me on it...

    Pretty much all lower league teams. Managers these days get their badges before they retire. I know Fergie recommends it to all his ageing players.

    Anyway, good luck Sparky. Am sure you'll do what is expected and then go to Villa / Spurs if the opportunity becomes available.

  • Comment number 29.

    QPR are a good side, but they aren't going to challenge any more than Fulham are. Not in the near future. The ground is too small, as is the budget. Fernandes has money, but not billions of oil money to throw around without caring too much. They won't land a Torres transfer.

    If Hughes thinks this is the step up from Fulham he wanted, I think he is mistaken. He might get more a of a transfer kitty than he would have done at Craven Cottage, but not as much as would be required to mix it with the top 6 or 7, which is what I thought he said were his reasons for leaving Fulham.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a Fulham fan, all I can say is "enjoy the Championship Sparky!"

    At least there you will be able to pursue your stated ambition of competing for titles!! Jol all the way for me...

  • Comment number 31.

    fortressfratton: agreed.....that's why the appointment makes little sense.

  • Comment number 32.

    The greatest (only?) success Hughes has had as a manager was at Blackburn, taking over in difficult circumstances and steadying the ship. I can see him do the same at QPR, although he will definitely need to spend in January.

    I wouldn't be very excited if I was a QPR fan though, workmanlike, physical and playing the percentages is about all you can expect and this why bigger clubs have not come in for him. I rate him in the same kind of bracket as Allardyce, yeah he'll probably keep you up but hard to be happy he's at your club.

  • Comment number 33.

    I don't know Mark Hughes personally, but he's always come across as someone with a chip on his shoulder. When asked by a BBC Journalist about a slip at the side of the pitch while managing Manchester City he bridled and said (paraphrasing), "It's fine I'm an athelete!". He just couldn't laugh it off. He has too much of an ego to satisfy and appears to be labouring under the impression he belongs at a Champions League calibre club. The thing is, it's not as if he's a bad manager. It's just that he seems to think he's a great one, when he simply isn't.

  • Comment number 34.

    This is the perfect platform for any manger to test their management skills. With clubs like Man City, Chelsea etc.. you have money to spend at will and bring in any player your heart desires where success will come easy to most competent managers. QPR have funds to supply Hughes with enough to make a difference and move the club forward, but he'll have to use those resources wisely. Its a good challenge for 'Sparky' - and good luck to him.

  • Comment number 35.

    Its an ' i need to eat some humble pie to get any sort of job or stay on the dole' admission from Hughes. Hes an average Joe Coach and this is just a bit more of the recycling of one very ordinary english boss (Warnock) for another very, very ordianry one by QPR as seems to occur all of the time in the Premier League. He ll maybe keep them up by the skin of their teeth, but my bet is that he wont last long there, hes too fond of his own reflection and they might not match his 'ambition'!

  • Comment number 36.

    Phil - At first glance the QPR + Mark Hughes combination does seem a strange one; neither seems to be the 'ideal fit' for each other! Hughes clearly was hurt by his treatment at Man City and is determind to do all he can to 'rain on their parade'; however his choice of club for helping him to do this is a strange one in QPR (as was his last job at Fulham). In all probablity when Hughes left Fulham he was hoping for the Villa job, but now perhaps its a case of 'any port in a storm?'
    From QPR's perspective I would have thought they not only wanted someone to 'steady the ship' and keep them afloat in hte PL, but also someone who would 'grow' with the club. No doubt 'Sparky' will be able to keep them in the PL, but as soon as another bigger club comes calling, he's likely to be off again.
    Such is the world of football management these days!

  • Comment number 37.

    @26.At 15:20 10th Jan 2012, wirral18 wrote:
    Forget the City debacle as he was treated appallingly after inheriting a team of mercenaries the 'fans' incredibly backed Robinho and Elano over him leaving his position untenable.


    You are re-writing history here chappy. The only thing that this spell demonstrated was that he couldn't handle big personalities. The fans didn't force him out, no demonstrations against him in the way that the likes of Kean are being hounded out. He was booted out because he barely had a game-plan, fielding an unbalanced line up and playing gung-ho football without any care about being caught on the counter. I suggest you watch games such as Bolton 2-0 Man City or his final game against Sunderland. Even with a measure of control in these games there was absolutely no protection or even thought of defending, leading to kamikaze football always leaving the team vulnerable to counter attacks.

    Not to mention the monotonous run of away draws City had.

    Mancini's first game? A 2-0 win at home to Stoke. The fans couldn't believe a clean sheet had come their way. You must be represented by Joorabchian too if you believe that the move to sack him wasn't a good move. One only has to look at Mancini's dealing of the Tevez saga to see the contrast between the two. Tevez was far more a fans' favourite after his performances and goals yet there was no question of who the fans would support.

  • Comment number 38.

    The problem for QPR is there for all to see. Their squad is littered with sub-standard plodders, the most conspicuous of those being Hill, Derry, Kenny, Barton, Bothroyd and Wright-Phillips.

    The test for Hughes will be seeing whether he can offload them to local Sunday morning pub teams, and replace them with an improved calibre of footballers from abroad.

    Having said that, I highly doubt that Hughes was a success. In his playing days he was a big, lumbering player with severely limited skills and virtually no technical ability, and his management record could probably even be replicated by ''Old Mike'' from ''The Navigation Inn''.

  • Comment number 39.

    I hope QPR get relegated as the prospect of listening to too many of Hughes' tedious post match interviews fills me with horror. How can a player of such charisma be such a dull and boring manager? Even Chris Hughton sounds interesting compared to Mark Hughes!

  • Comment number 40.

    Don't know why Hughes seems to get such a bad rap from most people. Sure, I think he annoyed a few people with the way he tried to do some transfers while at Man City, but, in terms of him moving between jobs, he's not really doing anything different to that which most players do when they try and better themselves.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hughes is a good manager, wasn't given a fair crack at it at City due to his red past. QPR have done well, Warnock is an idiot

  • Comment number 42.

    Premier League examination: 10/01/2012

    QPR have a new manager. Currently situated 17th in the premier league. One point above the relegation zone.

    Evaluation of QPR:

    Sinking like a stone under Warnock, other teams seem to have the winning factor behind them even if his boys always put in a good performance. Distinctly good but not winning performances against their competition within the last 6 to 7 games. Points mean prizes however and staying in the premier league will require some points to be won.

    Examination of Mark Hughes. Not a particularly good/bad manager. Not effective with big clubs like Manchester City where a side that is currently number 1 in the league finished number 6 when he was in charge which was a major underachievement. He isn't a very fanciful manager such as Arsene Wenger but he certainly isn't a long ball specialist like Alladyce.

    Gritty football rating out of ten: 6
    Will he save QPR from relegation (percentage chance)?: 77% likely.
    Will he avoid a relegation dogfight scrap (percentage chance - don't add to previous percentage, they aren't meant to add up)?: 37% likely.


    The teams around them are worse than they are but the threat remains that they have lost the last six out of their eight games. Could continue to sink under a non-specialized manager like Mark Hughes.


    Better than Warnock but unless they strengthen their attack, they wont get very far even if they avoid relegation this season.

  • Comment number 43.

    #41 Kapnag

    Indeed. If ever there is one that likes the sound of his own opinions it is Warnock! (And to a lesser extent, Holloway.)

  • Comment number 44.

    I agree with @37, I don't think Hughes can be considered unlucky at City, he simply didn't do well enough with the (considerable) resources at his disposal. The fact he lost the crowd was purely their reaction to what was going on at their club.

    I also agree with the comments re his (seemingly very large/fragile) ego and suspect this has been the cause of some of his issues with trickier to handle stars - I can't imagine, for example, he has the ability to adapt his style to get the best out of different players.

  • Comment number 45.

    It's hard to judge Hughes, he has done well at times & made some decent signings but also became a draw specialist with Man City and bought some mediocre players.

    He has successes, Kompany (outstanding), Zabaleta, Tevez but then there are players like Given (too old & injury prone when signed), Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Jo, Ben Haim, Santa Cruz, Kolo Toure & Adebayor.

    He will have to target players better then he did at City, if he can dig out a Kompany or Zabaleta type then great but the last thing a club the size of QPR need is players with bad personalities or past their peak on top salaries. Maybe he can manage Barton better then Warnock & also get Wright-Phillips performing. QPR need a quality centre-forward to stop the rot though, hopefully Santa Cruz won't leave Betis or QPR fans will be unhappy. Darren Bent's agent might think his player is due (another) move though, you never know!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    I can see Warnock at Leeds before long trying to get them to the promised land.

    as for Hughes, i cant see him doing very well their, the current owners clearly have their sights set very highly and think they should be doing better than they are, very hard job for Hughes to walk into.

    QPR are awful at home, if they can sort that out then who knows, but surely avoiding relegation is the key this season??

  • Comment number 47.

    I heard that QPR have about 30 million to spend in the transfer window. With that money they might finish just below mid table with Hughes in charge.

    Unless Fernandes builds a new and bigger stadium, and spends about 150 million on new players European football will never be on the agenda for QPR.

    I cant see that happening , and if it did , not in the length of Hughes contract. I fail to see how this job meets his expectations ?

    Surely he would have been better off staying at Fulham.

  • Comment number 48.

    QPR & Fulham seem to have a few things in common, they are both smallish clubs in the Premiership & they are both perceived to have money to spend from wealthy owners without the crowds or merchandising possibilities to fund long term big wages.

    Hughes fell for it at Fulham where funds for transfers may have been available from Al Fayed, but the ongoing finance needed for top players wages wasn't & it seems he may have fallen into the same trap again. I can only see it being a matter of time before we end up in the same place.

    A wealthy owner may be able to fund a £10,000,000 transfer fee, but they need to be much wealthier that Fernandes to fund the ongoing £100,000 a week wages to keep several of them for several years.

  • Comment number 49.

    Agree with @2 and @25...a pretty good appointment for both parties. R's were sliding uncontrollably and now find themselves with a far better chance of staying up, assuming january signings are sensible. Wouldn't be surprised to see them finishing about 12th and looking to push on next season.

  • Comment number 50.

    This maybe a rescue 'coup' for QPR but not for Mark Hughes who after the city debacle will probably not get another big job in the EPL. Decent manager with Wales and got Blackburn out of a hole but no more than this. Will need to buy. Will make them harder to beat and will get some of the under-performers like SWP moving again. Will move to a mid-table safe but not big club when opportunity knocks

    Quite like the firebrand in Warnock tbh. Get used to the considerably dull MH.

  • Comment number 51.

    The most over-ratd manager

  • Comment number 52.

    Totally off topic ....but Kompany´s appeal just got rejected by the "jobsworths" at the FA.
    He will serve a 4 match ban

  • Comment number 53.


    You're not surprised are you??

    I have no idea what City were thinking and i believe now his ban has been increased from 3 games to 4 which is excactly what everyone must have thought would happen??

    Yes we all agree it wasn't worthy of a red, but it was a two footed challenge with both feet off the ground. The FA were never ever going to allow the appeal.

    Arrogant appeal from City and now looking very foolish as he misses the second leg.

  • Comment number 54.

    The art of management is truly dead. I'm pretty sure you or I could keep QPR in the premiership if we had 30 million to spend in January. Hughes just wants a club where he can spend money to cover his average management ability.
    What ever happened to managers taking a squad and making it better without just buying in players?

  • Comment number 55.

    Glad he blogged about this, a refreshing change. Unfortunately it was almost exclusively delivered by Barry Horne and Lee Dixon, with Phil's contribution being limited to bemusing statements like

    "They fought, and won, the battle for the Championship last season but the idea of a title challenge a tier up is, to put it politely, fanciful."

    Why is he talking about a challenge for the PL for a team in 17th that will do well to stay up??? Have there been some outrageous statements of ambition from QPR that I've missed?

  • Comment number 56.

    53.At 16:09 10th Jan 2012, wirral18 wrote

    get a grip! and wise up..........

  • Comment number 57.

    #53 He got four games because it's his second red of the season, not an extra game for the appeal being frivolous.

  • Comment number 58.

    To me, Hughes seems to suffer from Allardyce sundrome, which can be characterised in terms of a vastly over-inflated opinion of himself and his own abilities

    I don't think you can laugh off the job he did at Rovers but you can at the job he did at City. He proved himsefl wholly out of his depth

    In his first season they were hovering around the relegation zone and were saved largely by the arrivals of Bellamy, de Jong and Given that January. My City supporting mate tells me he will never forget that FA Cup humiliation at the hands of Forest. He spent daft sums on players he didn't even use. of the quality players he bought, he didn't have a clue how to handle them-look at Adebayor

    And for a manager who had built up a reputation for building cagey, hard to break down teams City's defence under Hughes was a joke. Over £50 million on Toure, Lescott and Bridge

    The fact that most City fans were celebrating his departure speaks volumes. Ask any City fan if they're happier with Mancini than they were under Hughes and its a no brainer

    I really don't like the theory that anyone can do a job with a blank chequebook, money brings with it massive pressure on the manager to perform. I think the other thing people need to bear in mind is that respect has to be earned. You can draw comparisons with Hodgson at Liverpool who clearly didn;t have a clue on how to manage world class players such as Torres

    People also seem to forget how he treated Fulham. He quite clearly saw that club as merely a stepping stone to a bigger job such as Villa or Newcastle, much as I would say he does with the QPR job

  • Comment number 59.

    I could keep QPR in the premiership if we had 30 million to spend in January

    please tell me what you would do with this 30 million to keep a club in the premiership then>????? i would have thought that newly promoted clubs realise it takes more than buying 12 new players throwing money around and wasting 30 million and going down next season.

  • Comment number 60.




    Oh I see, well not a completely stupid decision to appeal but one that was certainly open to be dismissed as frivilous.

    As for the QPR saga, i'm glad Warnock's gone and i'm glad Hughes is back. There's not much more too it really apart from who do you prefer in the prem. Not sure why McNulty is bringing up something an agent said in June (as surely agents are employed to talk up their clients credentials??!!) as if he manages to take them to a respectasble 12-14th without too much of a scare then it will be a successful season.

  • Comment number 61.

    hughes will be under pressure from the outset. QPR's end-of-season schedule looks scary. Unless he can get some good results early, he better get ready to play Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday next season.

  • Comment number 62.

    60.At 16:16 10th Jan 2012, wirral18 wrote:

    1 game extra not because of the appeal, i gues you know this now as youve been told.

    Also its a matter of opionion, mine differs from yours as your a United fan, if Jones did that tackle you'd be saying it was amazing (of course now you'll tell me that you wouldn't be doing)

    either way we could have done without losing the league's best CB

  • Comment number 63.

    I've always thought of Hughes as a solid manager, but I can't understand where any exalted status originates.

    By definition an interview should be a two-way process, so I do hope for QPR's sake that it wasn't a case of Hughes interviewing Fernandes.

    One more thing; Hughes always strikes me as somehow a little too earnest. Not sure if that's a real character trait of Hughes and even if so, if it's a real problem - or just a perceived problem on my part.

    I think it's pretty certain that he won't be at QPR long.

  • Comment number 64.

    Queen's 'Sparky' Rangers.

  • Comment number 65.

    I was surprised that warnock was sacked in the first place. Promoted them from mid-table in one year and a bad run of 5, 6 games and he's out. Also, he didn't get a real chance to use Tony fernandes' money to improve the team. Obviously fernandes doesnt trust him enough to spend it wisely.

    Sparky will get QPR to mid-table and keep them there, but will he stay if a bigger offer comes his way?

  • Comment number 66.

    #64 Theophane

    Wahay! :-D

  • Comment number 67.


    If you read my comment i completely agree it wasn't a sending off offence but when you look at the replays there was absolutely no way the FA would allow the appeal to stand. That is why i thought they were taking a risk in appealing the decision.

    Game at home to spurs now takes on more significance with the loss of Toure and Kompany. Backbone is essential to a team and another big injury to either Silva or Aguero and it will be interesting to see what City are made of. Interesting month ahead!

  • Comment number 68.

    I agree, it's an absolute coup. A club with "ambition" with owners who are reported to be among the wealthiest in the game capturing the tactical genius Mark "Mid-Table" Hughes.

    I do appreciate that they are a smaller club who can't attract big names, but with big money they could have surely bought a better manager from their contract.

    The players that QPR should be looking to buy should be players to replace the likes of Barton, Derry and Kenny.

    Players who they could sign to replace these players would be.

    Maurice Edu from Glasgow Rangers would be an ideal replacement for the ageing Sean Derry. Pace, strength and hard in the tackle, surely he would be the ideal candidate.

    A dynamic midfielder who could go about replacing Joey Barton would be Darron Gibson. He's a player who has shown on many occasions that he has a suplificant range of passing and a deadly strike from 30 yards+.

    Paddy Kenny is someone who certainly needs to be replaced. They could do a lot worse than signing Neil Alexander from Glasgow Rangers. A supreme backup goalkeeper who rarely makes a mistake when he's covering for the magnificent Mcgregor.

    A few more players they could be looking at would include: Dean Holden, Ivan Klanic and Jermaine Pennant.

  • Comment number 69.

    kompany's ban wasn't increased for a frivolous appeal (though it should have been); it was already at four as he has been sent off before this season.

    soul patch, you're going to need better bait than calling hughes as a player. he even played for some minor spanish team once, you know. I wish he'd never gone into management, because I'd rather remember him as one of the greats.

  • Comment number 70.

    So Mark Hughes accepts he was wrong and has gone to a club that matches his coaching ability. Well done Mark. You could have just thought you were too good and never been a manager again because no-one would have come calling but you showed some common sense and admitted you were wrong by accepting the QPR job

  • Comment number 71.

    Whatever your point of view, red card, or not a red card , I think everyone knows this situation cannot continue if we want credibility within the game.
    As one of the sportswriters from the Sun today said , putting a microphone on the ref would help so we could understand why they make decisions.
    Also the 4th official making retrospective decisions after viewing replays. At the moment all the 4th officials seem to do, apart from holding up the substitution boards, is have a laugh and joke with the benches from both sides.

  • Comment number 72.

    I have heard many a Liverpool fan crowing about the new found confidence of Carroll after his wonder goal against mighty Oldham and they are celebrating Kompany's ban in tandem with United fans after it emerged he was missing for both legs of the Semi. Such a quality player would obviously be a huge miss from any team but people forget about the likes of Richards and Zabaleta who have both been fantastic all season. A starting back four of Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott and Clichy should get City through the next four games. Milner has been in solid form over the last three games and Toure's absence will enable him to prove himself in the central role he so covets.

    62.At 16:19 10th Jan 2012, signori wrote:
    60.At 16:16 10th Jan 2012, wirral18 wrote:

    1 game extra not because of the appeal, i gues you know this now as youve been told.

    Also its a matter of opionion, mine differs from yours as your a United fan, if Jones did that tackle you'd be saying it was amazing (of course now you'll tell me that you wouldn't be doing)

    either way we could have done without losing the league's best CB

  • Comment number 73.

    With Kia Joorabchian in his corner how can he fail to succeed? just look at what Kia has done for Carlos Tevez.... ha, ha, ha, ha.....

    I predict that Mark will get a title shot soon with QPR if they can hold on to their better players in the championship! then again he'll probably get sacked when they get the drop

  • Comment number 74.

    The trouble with Mr Hughes is he thinks he is as smart as his suits

  • Comment number 75.


    There are 2 things that have gone drastically wrong this season.

    1. The amount of needless red cards given out by officials (and i don't think a single one of them was for back chat). I paid a small fortune to get tickets for my brother and Dad to watch United and seeing the game wrecked against Wigan on boxing day was a travesty.

    I've seen it week on week the ref brandishing a red card and effectively ending the game (Cahill V Spurs and Rodwell V Liverpool being other examples). Do they not realise this is an entertainment business??

    2. The main thing that every single football fan in the world hates more than anything else is diving. WHEN OH WHEN will they bring in retrospective punishment, included when a player over does how much pain he's in (bit harder to prove!!!)

  • Comment number 76.

    @68.At 16:26 10th Jan 2012, Heskeys_wonderful_stepovers wrote:

    "I do appreciate that they are a smaller club who can't attract big names, but with big money they could have surely bought a better manager"

    Who do you think they should have gone for? Anyone got any thoughts?

    Also, if QPR are relegated this season, does anyone believe that Hughes will remain with them, pitting his wits against the Ipswich’s and Doncaster’s of this world or will he jump ship?

  • Comment number 77.

    "Mark Hughes walked away from Fulham and left behind a message from his trusted representative Kia Joorabchian. Their aspirations and ambitions simply did not match those of his client".

    Er, excuse me, he left Fulham because he thought he was getting the Villa job. It was only when Randy Learner found out what a sneaky so and so he was that he decided not to employ him....and has he had a sniff of a job since then ?

    It also makes me laugh that QPR decided to sack Warnock because they were unhappy with the caliber of player he was recommending to come to Rangers. What were the board wanting.....Messi ? Ronaldo? Modric? Bale? All happy to come to QPR I bet !!!

  • Comment number 78.

    Decidedly average chequebook manager who smelled the money.

  • Comment number 79.


    The ban was never going to be overturned because it would have sent out the message that similar challenges are acceptable even though many more dangerous challenges evade the "microscope". Any opposition fan would say that he gave the ref a decision to make, that he didn't need to dive in like that, that you are asking for trouble by making a two-footed challenge.

    Lampard will be grinning at this decision even though he wouldn't have been playing anyway.

  • Comment number 80.

    7 - It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:

    I do think he will do a "descent" job in the meantime

    Does that mean they are going down?

    I'll get me coat.

  • Comment number 81.

    Mark Hughes is no different than the host of mercenary players who go wherever the money is. No doubt his agent had a massive bonus inserted into his contract if they avoid relegation, which they will because Neil Warnock has done a good job and has a good squad of players. He will be seen as a saviour for keeping them in the Premiership and his stock will rise even though he will actually do very little, then of course another club will want him. He will say QPR doesn't match my ambition as he said with Fulham, then move on with lots of money in his pocket and start all over again. I think QPR are fools for falling for his rhetoric and they will pay the price when he jumps ship within the next year or so leaving the club unstable and searching for its 4th manager in as many years.

  • Comment number 82.

    Is Sparky still credited as having the largest thighs in football...........?

  • Comment number 83.


    He won't get sacked, he'll abandon them as soon as a more enticing offer arrives. The Spurs hotseat's likely to open up when 'Arry's sent to jail later this month, McLeish also seems to be walking on thin ice

    I genuinely maintain there is xenophobia afoot in the British media, how else to explain this ridiculous hyping up of wholly average British managers-the likes of Allardyce, McLeish and Hughes. Three managers who have accomplished nothing of note between them, yet are appanretly ambitious and misunderstood. You only have to contrast the media coverage of Roy Hodgson's tenure at Liverpool to that of Benitez

    I think the best Hughes can hope for is a nomadic Roy Hodgson esque career. At worst I think he will end up the new Allardyce to the English game

  • Comment number 84.

    I've seen it week on week the ref brandishing a red card and effectively ending the game (Cahill V Spurs and Rodwell V Liverpool being other examples). Do they not realise this is an entertainment business??


    Do you not realise red cards are part of the game and always likely to happen? Blame the players for "ruining" it

  • Comment number 85.

    Someone at QPR certainly has the gift of the gab. First persuading Joey Barton to take a downwoard step and now doing the same with Mark Hughes and goodness knows who else in the future. The trouble is that whilst QPR may be one of the richest clubs in the Premiership, with an "ambition" to match, they have a very small fan base and a tiny ground (even MK Dons has a bigger stadium). Their average attendance, now, is still only 15,000, and 2,000 of those are away fans. In the longterm, such a set up with lofty ambitions and the wage bill to match will NEVER get anywhere near to breaking even with the fan base they have. Therefore, in the end, QPR will never be more than what it is, a rich man's (men) plaything, and certainly never the "business" which most premiership sides are being forced to become. Poor move for Hughes.

  • Comment number 86.

    @80.At 16:41 10th Jan 2012, cougarforest2 wrote:

    7 - It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:

    I do think he will do a "descent" job in the meantime

    Does that mean they are going down?

    I'll get me coat.


    Well spotted :-( I think it is me who should be getting my coat.

  • Comment number 87.


    Are you saying you believe the red cards i mentioned were fair red cards. I'm a United fan and was gutted when Sammon was sent off. The whole match was ruined then. I'm saying this year more than most refs seem to be getting out the red card for the most weakest of challenges. Some definitely fouls and possibly yellows but never red cards.

    Obviously reds are apart of the game but refs need to understand that they are in an entertainment industry and the red card should be the last resort for an appalling tackle or 2 semi poor tackles (yellow).

  • Comment number 88.

    Understand why fulham fans are angry at Hughes, as a Bristol city fan I know what it feels like to have someone walk out on your club.

    However, I think some people are getting confused. Hughes said he left fulham because the club lacked ambition. This doesn't mean he wanted to go to a big club. Now, I dont know what goes on behind the scenes, but it's probable that fulham were happy as a mid-table premier league team and didn't want to spend a fortune attempting to get in the top six. That's what sparky meant.

    QPR is a smaller club, but they could have the ambition to improve and aim for Europe in the next 5-10 years, and be prepared to back that up win funds. Therefore, sparky saw it as a more attractive job.

  • Comment number 89.

    Average manager at best, mercenary at worst. As for QPR winning the PL - rofl.

  • Comment number 90.

    I for one will miss Warnock, an antiquated yet entertaining relic from a bygone era. Only Martin O'neill can possibly match his touchline ravings.

  • Comment number 91.

    Are you saying you believe the red cards i mentioned were fair red cards. I'm a United fan and was gutted when Sammon was sent off. The whole match was ruined then. I'm saying this year more than most refs seem to be getting out the red card for the most weakest of challenges. Some definitely fouls and possibly yellows but never red cards.


    I'm saying they are part of the game. Sometimes they are harsh, sometimes they aren't. But rules are rules, you can't go changing rules depending on how much it cost to gain entry. Would you prefer to see idiots flying into dangerous tackles and not get punished for their lack of professionalism?

  • Comment number 92.

    Money, Money, Money...

    QPR to finish 16th this year. relegated next year. Hughes on the move again - before he gets the blame. Maybe back to Blackburn?

  • Comment number 93.

    Hang on a minute Hughes will get his chance to fight for titles and Trophies. He can look forward to attempting to win the Championship and the F.A cup.

    But in all fairness he wasn't given enough time at Man City.

    QPR to be in the Top 4 year in year out.

    Not on their budget.

    Man City have shown that it takes about 3-5 years and 500 million to that.

  • Comment number 94.

    @76. Maybe a Tony Pulis, he certainly knows the Premier League. Or maybe a Mick McCarthy, very shrewd tactically capable manager who can spot a player.

  • Comment number 95.

    ....that being said I rarely agreed with anything that came out of his cake hole.

  • Comment number 96.


    Well if some posters on here don't fancy watching sparky's style of football, I dread to think what they'll feel about pulis!!

  • Comment number 97.

    Can see QPR being the new Wimbledon.

    Same sort of small club. Same number of fans. And now the same sort of manager and the same sort of players!

  • Comment number 98.

    Hughes (and his backroom staff) tick lots of boxes. They get a team physically up for the rigours of the PL. There is also no doubt that they can spot a player, RSC & Bentley (whilst at Blackburn), Kompany & De Jong (City). My worry is that tactically Hughes leaves a lot to be desired. This might be ok if you are happy with mid-table mediocrity but if you have genuine aspirations, then I'm afraid this might not be a marriage made in heaven.

  • Comment number 99.

    I do feel a bit sorry for Warnock, as someone said before he is great personality an iconic English manager type and good for the Premiership. He didnt really get a good crack at the Premiership with QPR and the take over of the new owners kinda messed things up for him. I think Warnoc brought in a good spirited football side, obviously lacking in quality to be a secure premiership team, but it was a hook or by crook team to me with lots of misfits and aspiring players thrown together on a tight budget. And for me it would have been interesting who he would have bought in to further improve them. I dont like this sacking mid term of any managers and espcially a manger who worked hard to get them into the Prem, he should by terms of respec be given at least one term, and History has proved that changing a manager mid term has never really benefited any club.

    The players will be forced to play a new way and i am not sure Hughes is the type to lead a happy bunch of misfits. He might be to dry and dull to step into Warnocks colourfull shoes.

    I hope the likes of QPR do stay up and teams like Wigan, Blackburn go down. They offer nothing to Prem standard of being competitive, they lack ambition and celebrate for just surviving, out with the old dead wood.

  • Comment number 100.

    Bcfctim, no. 88;

    " a Bristol city fan I know what it feels like to have someone walk out on your club."

    Oh yeah, you mean when Steve Coppell walked out during half-time of his first competitive game in charge...


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