Mark Hughes remains confident QPR will avoid relegation

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Hughes aggrieved by Diakite dismissal

Mark Hughes believes QPR will avoid relegation, despite the club having picked up just four points in six games since he took over as manager.

"Circumstances will change for us I'm sure," Hughes told BBC Sport after QPR were beaten 1-0 at home by Fulham.

"Keeping 11 players on the pitch will help," he added, referring to Samba Diakite's sending off - QPR's fifth red card at Loftus Road this season.

"I'm convinced we've enough ability to stay in the league."

The Welshman took over from Neil Warnock in January, but QPR's indiscipline against Fulham once again proved costly.

Just as worryingly, QPR's last eight matches of the season include fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Pavel Pogrebnyak had already scored before QPR debutant Diakite, who joined Rangers on loan from Nancy in the January transfer window, was sent-off just past the half-hour mark.

"I don't think the discipline was bad," said Hughes, following a defeat which leaves QPR with just one win in 14 league games and a point ahead of third-bottom Bolton.

"Obviously it was his [Diakite] debut and he wanted to make an impression.

"He was enthusiastic but I don't think he was reckless. He mistimed challenges and, unfortunately for him, he doesn't know the league as of yet.

"In fairness, I take responsibility for that as, in an ideal world, you want to introduce him to the Premier League a bit more slowly.

"But, given our circumstances, we need good players on the pitch and up to the point of his sending off he was excellent and arguably our best player."

In QPR's previous home game - the 2-1 defeat by Wolves - Djibril Cisse was sent off in the first-half and Hughes conceded red cards were making life difficult for his struggling team.

"Obviously we need to keep the full complement of players on the pitch because if we don't it will be difficult for us," said the QPR boss.

"We haven't managed that in our last two home games so it is pretty clear where our real problem lies."

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