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Monday, November 12, 2012

QPR Report Monday: Hughes' Awful Record...Southampton: Hughes' Last Chance Salon?...Mackie Out of Scotland Squad...Marsh: Give Hughes Till Christmas...Cesar Rejected Arsenal?...Ex-QPR Birthdays





Mark Hughes has been in charge of QPR for 27 Premier Games.  In those 27 games, QPR have picked up 21 points. To STAY Up, QPR Need AT LEAST 33 Points from their remaining 27 Games.

- Birthdays Today 
 - MIKELE LEIGERTWOOD (30) http://goo.gl/nwXES -
 - ROBERT MALCOLM!! (31) http://goo.gl/DLstX

Jamie Mackie Pulls Out of Scotland Squad

QPR's Jamie Mackie, who was on the bench for QPR's game at Stoke on Saturday (and didn't come on) is one of nine players who have pulled out of the Scotland Squad for Wednesday's Game against Luxemburg. Mackie withdrew because of an ankle injury. - Scottish FA

Belfast Telegraph - Marsh - Give Hughes more time

Sunday, 11 November 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes should wait until Christmas before deciding whether to sack Mark Hughes, according to the club's former striker Rodney Marsh.

The London club returned to the foot of the Barclays Premier League on Saturday after they suffered their seventh defeat of a so-far winless season at Stoke. Speculation continues to mount over the future of Rangers boss Hughes despite public statements of support from Fernandes, who is also the club owner.

Marsh, who played over 200 games for QPR, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I believe you should give the manager until Christmas. If you look at any successful team it is always based on continuity and consistency."

He added: "Just look at Arsenal and Manchester United and what they have done with Arsene Wenger and (Sir) Alex Ferguson.

"Yes, they have gone 11 games without a win, but I hate it when owners keep on sacking their managers after a run of bad results.

"Mark Hughes has been under the cosh for the last four games. It was only six games into the season when they were saying 'Hughes out'. That can't be good for anybody within the football club. I believe in continuity and consistency."

Although Marsh is confident Hughes can drag the club out of the bottom three, he believes Fernandes made a mistake in sacking his predecessor Neil Warnock.

"I wouldn't have sacked Neil Warnock in the first place," he said. "He got them to the Premier League. He was doing a decent job."

Fernandes took to Twitter on Saturday night to insist QPR are improving under Hughes, but he stopped short of giving his manager a full vote of confidence on the micro-blogging site, as has been the case in recent weeks.

The Malaysian also said next week's game against fellow strugglers Southampton was a "must-win" encounter, and Marsh agrees. "Both teams are having nightmare seasons," Marsh added. "They are in desperate trouble. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the team who loses that match will get relegated."


Exclusive – Wicks slams ‘brainless’ Zamora

By Anton Stanley | Sunday, November 11, 2012

Former QPR player Steve Wicks has hit out at Bobby Zamora for admitting he doesn’t like football while his club are struggling in the Premier League.

The striker, on several occasions, has revealed he doesn’t watch the sport outside of his time playing for the Super Hoops.

But Wicks, who played nearly 200 times for the troubled west London outfit, believes that Zamora should be concentrating on the battle to avoid relegation.

“Players don’t help themselves these days,” he told the Weekend Sports Breakfast. “I know Bobby really well. My son used to play with him at Brighton and he’s a great kid, but to come out and say that when QPR are in this situation, I just find it brainless.

”And it frustrates me really because the QPR fans, all they want to see is their team roll up their sleeves and battle, and they can do it.”

And the former defender insists that Mark Hughes' charges need to show a bit of fight if they are going to remain in the Premier League next season.

He added: “When QPR have the ball they can play some really lovely football but the problem with them at the moment is when they don’t have the ball.

“Yesterday in the second half there were people strolling, losing the ball and strolling back and that’s not a good sign.

“It’s going to take people to roll up their sleeves, get together and have a battle, a good old fashion battle up [for them to survive].

“At the moment it’s almost like [they think], ‘oh, we’re too good to go down’, and I don’t think any team can say that.”

CLICK TO LISTENhttp://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/f.... +-+Homepage%29

Independent/Jon Culley

Hughes: Lose on Saturday and I'll be out
QPR manager admits home game against Southampton will be make-or-break time

Mark Hughes has accepted he may be Queen's Park Rangers manager for only one more match despite winning more support from the club's directors before and after sliding back to the bottom of the Premier League.

The Welshman, who has presided over Rangers' worst start to a top-flight season, believes he is under greater pressure to deliver results even than he faced in his 18 months at Manchester City, and that Saturday's home fixture with next-to-bottom Southampton will be his make-or-break moment.

"Everyone knows the significance of that game now," Hughes said. "I have confidence in the players to turn this round, but it needs to happen next week."

The QPR chief executive, Philip Beard, insisted Hughes had the club's full backing in a lunchtime radio interview on Saturday and chairman Tony Fernandes, who stressed his "complete faith" in the manager only last week, appeared still to back him on Saturday night.

Fernandes watched Rangers suffer their seventh defeat of the season with a 1-0 loss against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium but tweeted afterwards: "One error cost us. No panic. Table is compressed."

However, Hughes fears boardroom patience will run out if his side fail to beat Southampton. They were jeered off after being held 1-1 by Reading in their last home game and their tally of four points from 11 matches is two fewer even than Derby County had at the corresponding stage five years ago in a season that would end as the worst in Premier League history.

"It's still early in the season but the longer that it goes on, it becomes more difficult for us to have the season that we hoped to have," Hughes said. "The chairman was here today and at Arsenal [where Rangers lost by a single, 84th-minute goal] and he saw positive things in our play and that encouraged him, it encourages us.

"But the disappointment is that we are not getting the reward that he is looking for and that we are all looking for because the aim of the season is to have a really progressive season."

Hughes took charge in January after Fernandes sacked Neil Warnock following a run of eight defeats in 11 matches, although Rangers were outside the bottom three at the time. Hughes won six and drew two of the remaining 18 games as Rangers avoided relegation, although the title-winning goal for Manchester City that condemned them to a last-day defeat would have sent them down if Bolton had not been held at Stoke.

Asked how his current predicament compared with the demands he faced at Blackburn, where he won a relegation battle in his first season in charge, 2004-05, and at Eastlands, where he was the first manager entrusted with Sheikh Mansour's millions, Hughes said it was "tougher".

"We've been in this situation before, at Blackburn and Manchester City, when we came in and had to address certain things in the club, change personnel and that was a difficult time," he said.

"It's tougher at the moment because there is a lot of focus on us, we're a high-profile club now and the perception of QPR has changed. We're more newsworthy than other clubs in situations where they haven't got many wins on the board.

"We are where we are at the moment but I am confident, given the effort and determination of the players to turn this round, we'll be fine. But it needs to happen next week."

Rangers, who have won only two points away from home in 10 months under Hughes, lost to a 52nd-minute Charlie Adam goal on Saturday as the former Liverpool midfielder scored for the first time in Stoke colors.


GUARDIAN/Richard Rae

'No panic' at QPR but Mark Hughes is fast running out of time

• QPR remain without a win all season after defeat at Stoke
• Stoke's Tony Pulis 'bloody delighted' to take all three points

The automatic use of hyperbole in Premier League football means it hard to say whether the fact that both the Queens Park Rangers manager, Mark Hughes, and the club owner, Tony Fernandes, referred to next Saturday's home match against Southampton as a game that had to be won is significant.

Fernandes, an inveterate tweeter, took rather longer than he usually does in responding to the stream of comments from disgruntled supporters demanding he dispense with Hughes's services after a seventh defeat in 11 games left Rangers at the bottom of the table.

Eventually he posted: "We got to cut out errors. One error cost us and we got to take our chances. Team played as planned. Must win next win. No panic. Table is compressed. Defense was awful now fairly solid. Midfield strong. Got to score now." It must have raised eyebrows among the Rangers fans who, like Fernandes, travelled to the Britannia Stadium.

Particularly the "played as planned" bit because seldom can a Match of the Day highlights package been more misleading. Rangers looked disjointed and at times dispirited, lacking in cohesion and rhythm, and for a side including Adel Taarabt, Esteban Granero and Alejandro Faurlín, they created very little.

Djibril Cissé, isolated and horribly out of form up front, had the sort of game that made a mockery of his selection ahead of Jamie Mackie and though the defence did look more solid than of late, they were up against a Stoke side who had scored only eight goals in their previous 10 games and was playing five in midfield.

But Hughes, below, like Fernandes, saw it very differently. "We've come to a difficult place and acquitted ourselves really well but the key is taking chances when they present themselves and we didn't do that," said the manager, citing a bad Taarabt miss before half-time.

Shortly after the interval Charlie Adam seizing on a Jon Walters' knockdown, which Armand Traoré might have cleared, swept in his first goal for Stoke to give them only their second win in 17 league games. Granero, with a 70th-minute drive well saved by Asmir Begovic, came the closest to rescuing a point.

"We've had a number of games when it's been accepted by most people we've done really well but we haven't taken anything from them so that's the frustration from our point of view," said Hughes. "We are where we are at the moment but I'm confident given the effort and determination of the players to turn it round we'll be fine but it needs to happen next week."

And if it doesn't? Fernandes's insistence that now is not a time to panic is pretty much exactly what he said before sacking Neil Warnock last season.

Since then Hughes has overseen 29 league games, from which Rangers have picked up 24 points. On the basis they probably need at least 34 from their next 27 to stay up, they are clearly in a situation which Hughes – voluntarily making himself a hostage to fortune – stated they would never be again while he was in charge.

There were reports Owen Coyle was sitting near Fernandes on Saturday, though Harry Redknapp may be a more realistic option if the Malaysian businessman bites the bullet.

Stoke were almost equally unconvincing and the sight of Adam being moved to the right wing by his manager, Tony Pulis, was baffling. Peter Crouch was almost as isolated as Cissé and it was hard to find evidence the team are evolving in the way Pulis acknowledged they must. Small wonder he professed himself "absolutely bloody delighted" to have picked up all three points.

"Winning means a little bit of a monkey is off the players' shoulders and hopefully will give us the confidence to step up," he said. "I'm delighted for Charlie, we moved him around a little bit, we tried to get him in positions where he'll score or create chances and thank goodness he's come up with the goal.

"In our first couple of years in the Premier League teams would come here expecting to win, now they come to make it difficult. We have to deal with it, it's the progress you have to make. I think we have better footballers in the team now and we showed signs of moving the ball through the pitch really quick."

Another case of a manager seeing things rather differently to the rest, perhaps.

Man of the match Steven Nzonzi (Stoke City)


Stoke City: Backing of fans was crucial for victory, says Wilko

Monday, November 12, 2012

ANDY Wilkinson praised City's "12th man" for staying with the side during their nerve-wracking 1-0 victory over QPR.

The attendance of 27,529 was City's biggest of the season, and although there were some boos at half time, Wilkinson said the fans' patience and support was crucial before Stoke nicked their winner through Charlie Adam's 52nd-minute strike.

He said: "They are amazing. I know it was a bit tense, but the supporters are always behind us.

"We needed them behind us, but once we got the goal there was a bit of pressure off and it was nice for everybody."

Wilkinson admitted Stoke were a little-below par, although he insisted QPR are a much tougher proposition than their position at the bottom of the Premier League table suggests.

He added: "You only have to see how much they have spent on their team. They have some unbelievable players, but we were solid and we stuck at it right to the end.

"We are buzzing with that as a back four, and hopefully we can do that most weeks.

"I think our performances have been good. We didn't play as well as we could have against Rangers, but we got the result."

Adam's first goal for the club should give the Scotland international a lift as he beds into the City side.

Stoke haven't seen the best of the £4m signing from Liverpool yet, but Wilkinson says he will prove to be a valuable addition to the side.

He said: "There's no doubting his ability, he's a great player. It's good for him and his confidence that he has got off the mark, but his performances have been good. Now hopefully he can get some more.

"His deliveries are brilliant as well so hopefully he can get some assists for Crouchy and a few others.

He's a great player for us. "

Wilkinson played the first half at left-back, but swapped sides with Geoff Cameron at half time to spend the second half on the right.

Wilkinson said the change was an attacking move. He explained: "Geoff is good going forward and there was a lot more space down the left. I think it made sense for me to do the defensive side and for him to go forward more."

Wilkinson was pushing forward in the first half, although his search for his first ever Stoke goal goes on after he had a speculative shot blocked on the edge of the QPR penalty area.

"It was on target," he protested. "I'm sure it was going in."



SKY - Julio Cesar says he spoke to Arsenal before joining Queens Park Rangers
Last Updated: November 11, 2012

Julio Cesar claims he met with Arsenal before taking the decision to link up with Queens Park Rangers.

The Brazilian goalkeeper arrived in the Premier League over the summer in a surprise switch from Inter Milan.

The UEFA Champions League winner has graced the very top of the game and was expected to join another title-chasing club after taking the decision to leave Italy.

He admits he could have made a move to the Emirates, but says he was enticed to Loftus Road as there is greater scope to fill a directorial role there once he hangs up his gloves.

Cesar told The Sunday People: "I accepted this proposal because I wanted to live in London.

"I have an amazing way of life here and I'm giving my family a great opportunity to grow up culturally.

"I talked with Arsenal in the last transfer window, and they were really happy about me playing for them, but at the last minute I moved to QPR.

"QPR has a project, and I dream about that project coming true. But I came here because I was thinking about my future once I quit football, that's true."


He added: "The directors have signed 11 footballers, and when you put them all into a team, it will be difficult for that team to work immediately.

"That's why QPR haven't won yet. We don't have an identity yet. But let me tell you we are on the right track.

"The fact that I can speak Portuguese, Italian and now English will give me opportunities in the future to be a director once I quit football. Even at QPR I could work as a director."  SKY

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