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FERNANDES: STARS MUST SAVE QPR
QPR owner Tony Fernandes has called on his players to hold up their end of the bargain in keeping the club in the Barclays Premier League.
Fernandes last month put his money where his mouth is, splashing out around ï¿½15million on Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse, as well as bringing in three others on loan in Federico Macheda, Taye Taiwo and Samba Diakite.
Fernandes, though, is being put through the wringer by his squad that has taken just six points from the last 39 on offer.
That sequence has left QPR in a position where only goal difference separates them from a place in the bottom three, and with 13 matches to save themselves.
They still have to play Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City, with the last three of those fixtures in their final four matches.
Assessing his side's seemingly troubled situation, Fernandes told Press Association Sport: "I always said from day one we would be in a relegation battle and our aim was to avoid relegation.
"Am I coping with the pressure? I'm not loving the pressure, but I'm loving the whole experience.
"I'm doing the best I can, and it's now up to the boys on the pitch and the manager to do what they can.
"We certainly have the players and ability to avoid relegation, but the Premier League is very tough, and only time will tell."
Fernandes certainly voiced his frustration over the weekend in the wake of his side's 3-2 defeat at relegation rivals Blackburn.
Fernandes turned to his Twitter account to let the fans know he was far from happy as he said: "Talent is one thing. Being able to cope with the pressures of talent is key.
"Everyone needs a spine to take the pressures of life. We need a spine in QPR. We need fighters not just talent."
Fernandes makes no apologies for using Twitter, a social media outlet that former boss Neil Warnock suggested had played a part in his own downfall.
Warnock felt Fernandes had read too many comments from fans before the axe was swung on his reign on January 8 after 22 months in charge.
Fernandes effectively went back on remarks made when he took over in the summer that he would not pull the rug from under Warnock's feet and that he would be given all the support he needed.
In his first interview since Warnock's departure and the subsequent appointment of Mark Hughes, Fernandes said: "That was the most difficult time I've encountered as a boss of any of my businesses."
The owner of Caterham F1 and airline AirAsia added: "I liked Neil, and I thought like with any of my employees it would be a long, long, long relationship.
"Sadly I ended up doing the one thing I said I wouldn't do, which is why it was tough.
"I'd rather not go into the reasons why I got rid of him. It was a decision that was made, and we've moved on from it."
Dismissing suggestions that he reacted to Tweets from fans, Fernandes said: "For people who have known me for a long time, my board and I will do what we think is right.
"We're not going to be pressurised by players, fans or anybody. We have to do what we think is right for the club in the long run.
"Like anything, though, I am in the public eye and I love transparency and openness, but there's a limit to what I can say and shouldn't say.
"That's because when you're in the public eye and say something it can affect other people, so you have to balance it."
Fernandes, meanwhile, seemingly has no qualms with another avid Tweeter in QPR captain Joey Barton.
The midfielder has been known for pushing the boundaries with his remarks on Twitter.
But Fernandes said: "Joey reports to the manager, and that's something for the manager and him to decide what's right and wrong."
However Fernandes added: "Again, when you're in the public eye, you have to be sensitive."