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Sunday, September 22, 2013

#QPR vs #Yeovil Reports....The #Newcastle Comeback: 29 Years Ago Today...Mark Hughes Explains/Defends His Failure at QPR

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Hughes: I was tainted by QPR so I know I'm lucky to get another chance at the Britannia

Mark Hughes is in something of a confessional mood as he reflects on his madhouse days at Manchester City and QPR compared with the relative sanity of Stoke City.

‘I don’t cultivate or enhance relationships by just talking on the phone,’ he says. ‘I’d rather sit and have a conversation person-to-person. That’s the way you should be able to speak to people. And that’s obviously when I think I am at my best.’

The message is clear. After struggling to cope with absentee owners at Manchester City and chairmen with international business commitments at Fulham (Mohamed Al Fayed) and QPR (Tony Fernandes), Hughes is happier in his new surroundings. Stoke owner Peter Coates is a genuine lifelong fan and still lives and works locally.


Mark Hughes was given a clear brief when he arrived at Stoke: change the playing style!

Just a month into the season it looks as though he’s pulled it off. These are the statistics which prove Stoke under Hughes are becoming far more pleasing on the eye than they were under Tony Pulis.

The job is a shot at redemption for Hughes, who turns 50 in November. A bright start to his managerial career with Wales, Blackburn and Fulham was overshadowed by the sack at City and then at QPR just 12 games into last season.

‘I’m grateful for the opportunity,’ admits Hughes, whose side play Arsenal. ‘My stock was low because of QPR. I did actually keep them up the previous season, but that seemed to have been airbrushed out. I seemed to get blamed for everything that went wrong at QPR last season, even the games they lost after I’d left!

‘When I spoke to the Coates family and [chief executive] Tony Scholes, they wanted to understand what went on at Rangers, and rightly so. But they had also done their homework, speaking to people who had worked with me before.
Redemption: The Stoke job is a second chance for Hughes after his struggles at QPR

Redemption: The Stoke job is a second chance for Hughes after his struggles at QPR

‘Thankfully, they must have heard good things because I got the job. If they’d been swayed by public opinion, it would have been difficult for me.

‘A Premier League manager’s relationship with his owners and executives has to be strong. To have an absent owner you’d never see — and a chairman who’d fly in occasionally [at Man City] — meant I would have to cultivate a relationship on the phone. It was never going to really happen to the right level.

‘Maybe I didn’t give enough daily information which allowed them to be comfortable with me.

‘My managing upwards at City wasn’t great. I should have recognised earlier than I did that there was this prerequisite to phone [Khaldoon Al Mubarak] every day. But I was always of the view that if there’s nothing wrong, why should I phone?’

When he arrived at Loftus Road, Hughes was horrified by the lack of spirit. Fernandes backed him with money, but it happened too quickly. Despite signing 25 players in two seasons, QPR were relegated last summer after Hughes was axed following the first dozen winless games.

'The perception is that I brought in a lot of players at one time that disrupted the dressing room, and that was the reason they had a bad season. But the dressing room was damaged when I got there,’ says Hughes. ‘We’d got through the first season and stayed up, but I knew that group couldn’t keep us in the Premier League. I tried to add qualities I thought were lacking, brought in good characters. But, in the end, if the mix is tainted you can’t do anything.’
Huge turnover: Hughes brought in a large number of new players to QPR but many of the signings didn't work out

Huge turnover: Hughes brought in a large number of new players to QPR but many of the signings didn't work out

Joey Barton was allowed to head to Marseille on loan after going berserk and kicking players on the final day of the season at Manchester City.

‘I think there was a conscious decision, after that, that it was going to be difficult for Joey to stay at the club while I was the manager,’ said Hughes. ‘It was a decision made not just by me. We all agreed, rightly or wrongly. I’ve always made decisions I feel benefit a club long term. Given my recent experiences, people will probably say that’s laughable, but I’ve always done that.’

So far, Hughes has won over any sceptics at Stoke. Defeat at Liverpool on the opening day was followed by wins against Crystal Palace and West Ham. They dominated a 0-0 draw against Manchester City last weekend without a long throw in sight.

‘I realised they are capable of playing more football than possibly they’ve been allowed to in the past,’ explains Hughes. ‘I think that’s showing up in the way we play. I may have come here guilty of underestimating the talent. Having worked with them, I know there’s more to come.’
High maintenance: Hughes has a good record with players who come with baggage

High maintenance: Hughes has a good record with players who come with baggage

After getting the best out of Craig Bellamy and Robbie Savage at other clubs, Hughes has embraced the chance to work with other supposedly high-maintenance characters at Stoke.

Jermaine Pennant, who served a prison term for drink-driving, was given a new contract after being frozen out by Tony Pulis.

New signings include Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic, said by Jose Mourinho to have the mentality of a baby; Dutch defender Erik Pieters, who sliced his arm punching a window, and Stephen Ireland, who invented the deaths of two grandmothers to get out of playing for the Republic of Ireland.

‘Earlier in his career, Craig Bellamy could be a pain for everybody,’ recalls Hughes. ‘But I knew he was a passionate football guy. He wanted to work to try to become one of the best players in Europe. If he was given sessions that had no thought or purpose to them, you’d get a reaction. A lot of players are like that, they just want to work and improve.’
Next stop: Hughes faces Arsenal and Mesut Ozil who will play his first match at the Emirates

Next stop: Hughes faces Arsenal and Mesut Ozil who will play his first match at the Emirates

The next challenge is Arsene Wenger, with whom Hughes crossed swords after a 2005 FA Cup semi-final when Blackburn were criticised for trying to kick Arsenal off the park.

‘We weren’t good enough on the day and did things to try to get back in the game. But it wasn’t the game-plan or at my instigation,’ insists Hughes. ‘There was a challenge by Andy Todd on Robin van Persie — he elbowed him — but it wasn’t intentional and he wasn’t given any sanction.’

Hughes graced Manchester United, Barcelona Bayern Munich and Chelsea as a player. His career in management has not followed the smooth trajectory of Wenger, but he said: ‘I’m in a small group to have worked at top level as player and manager. I might not look it, but I still feel a young man. Daily Mail

September 22, 1984: Alan Mullery's Blue and White Army and the comeback against Newcastle


September 22, 1984, a crowd of 14,234 turned up at Loftus Road to see Alan Mullery/Frank Sibley's QPR take on Jack Charlton's Newcastle. QPR had begin by winning two and drawing two (including at Liverpool)...Then the previous week had lost to Clive Allen's Spurs 5-0...And then came the Newcastle game and QPR's incredible comeback from 0-4 at half-time. A hattrick for Newcastle's Chris Waddle. Among QPR scorers, subsequent manager, John Gregory! (And on the Newcastle team, ex-QPR and later Newcastle manager, Glen Roeder)

The scoring sequence: 0-1...0-2...0-3...0-4...1-4...2-4...3-4...3-5...4-5...5-5

QPR's Team:

Neil Wicks Fenwick Dawes
Micklewhite Fillery Gregory Fereday
Stainrod Bannister -
Stewart sub for Fillery

- QPR Scorers: Bannister, Stainrod, Gregory, Wicks, Micklewhite

Newcastle's team:

Kevin Carr Malcolm Brown,Wesley Saunders,Glen Roeder, Anderson, Haddock, Neil Macdonald, David Mcreery, Kenny Wharton,Peter Beardsley Chrissy Waddle. -

NOBOK SPORTS - Top Five comebacks
5. QPR 5 Newcastle United 5, First Division, 1984

With a 4-0 half-time lead and Chris Waddle in inspirational form, you could have forgiven Newcastle for thinking they had QPR beaten at Loftus Road in 1984.
But this titanic Division One match took a huge twist when Rangers responded to manager Alan Mullery's furious half-time team-talk with a stirring comeback.
Gary Bannister, John Gregory and an own goal dragged the home side back into it only for Kenny Wharton to restore Newcastle's two-goal lead with six minutes left.
But Rangers were still not done as Steve Wicks and Gary Micklewhite grabbed a share of the points with two last-gasp strikes. Nobok Sports

[Aside: From a Peter Doherty Interview in Time Out
"...What’s the best sporting event you’ve ever been to?
When I was five or six I went to a QPR game and the score was QPR 5, Newcastle 5. [Chants] ‘Say we are QPR, say we are QPR!’

A Newcastle Site, Toonarama, Match Report of that Day
Absolutely Diabolical - a 10 goal extravaganza Tighten Up Mister

On the 22nd of September 1984 United travelled to Loftus Road to take on QPR in their 7th game of the season on their return to Division 1. After winning the first 3 games United had lost three on the trot, conceding 10 goals in the process.
Manager Charlton decided that changes were necessary. He adopted for a more defensive line-up but the match ended up as one of the highest scoring games in the club's history.
Crowded Out
Newcastle lined up with Kevin Carr in goal, Malcolm Brown and Wesley Saunders at full-back and three centre-backs; Roeder, Anderson and Haddock In midfield he played Neil Macdonald, David Mcreery, Kenny Wharton and Peter Beardsley who dropped in behind the sole attacker Chrissy Waddle.
The QPR side was: Hucker in goal, full backs Neill and Dawes, centre-backs Fenwick and Wicks, midfield of Wayne Fereday (a player who would later "play" for the Toon), Micklewhite, Fillery and John Gregory and an attack of Bannister and Stainrod.
- The tactics were very simple and classic Charlton; crowd the midfield and defence to cut down the space for the opposition and boot diagonal balls out to the wings in the general direction of Waddle. Even if Waddle didn't get it the ball was deep into QPR territory.
All We Want For Xmas is a Plastic Pitch
Three minutes gone and the first real chance of the match. Waddle attacks down the left, reaches the byeline and crosses deep to the far post where the ball is headed in by Macdonald at point blank range (0-1)
- QPR try and hit back immediately and Newcastle are forced to defend desperately. Carr pulls off a magnificent save, QPR have a decent penalty appeal turned down and Roeder clears another shot off the line. But on seventeen minutes Waddle gets away on the right side of the area, cooly rounds Hucker and slots it in from an acute angle (0-2)
- Five minutes later and United win a free-kick on the edge of the centre-circle . Roeder floats it in and a poor headed clearance drops perfectly for Wharton who volleys goalwards. His shot deflects off a defender and hits the post. Waddle gleefully slots in the rebound with Hucker grounded.(0-3)
- Almost immediately QPR pull a "goal" back, but to the Hoops fans displeasure, the referee disallows the goal having already whistled for a free-kick to the home side. The free kick is easily fielded by Carr.
- With 4 minutes of the first half remaining Waddle picks up a loose ball just outside the area and curls in a superb shot into the top left-hand corner to register a 24 minute hat-trick( 0-4)
- So, four goals up at half time and surely the match is over. The Toon Army are (for the one and only time I imagine) singing the praises of the artificial turf. Charlton's tactics seem to be coming up trumps. However United's football has been scrappy and QPR did have chances while Newcastle had scored from all four of theirs....
In Your Face
QPR bring on left-winger Ian Stewart (another player who would later have a deeply unimpressive spell at Gallowgate) for Fillery.
The second half begins and almost immediately Carr has to make a superb save to deny QPR from a free kick. At the other end Waddle makes space for a shot but his effort is blocked. He tries to win a penalty with a ludicrous dive. The referee is not fooled, but there is no booking as players got away with that sort of thing then.
Four minutes into the second half and the ball is punted upfield by the QPR keeper, it is flicked on and suddenly Gary Bannister is in on goal. Carr (not for the first time in his career) rushes from his line and manages to parry the shot. Unfortunately it goes straight back to the QPR player who heads into the empty net (1-4)
- Play is now switching from end to end, Carr is forced into another brilliant save and a shot from Wharton is saved at the other end. A free-kick from QPR goes narrowly past the post. What then followed had to be seen to be believed. All through the game United's defensive strategy had appeared to be to get a foot in and kick the ball as hard as possible, in whatever direction you happened to be facing.
- Well in this case Haddock was on the edge of the area facing the corner post. He blasts the ball towards the corner but only succeeds in hitting Wharton full in the face. He hits it at such pace that the ball ricochets off Wharton's head right across the goal and passed a startled Kevin Carr into the far corner of the net (2-4)
- Almost immediately QPR try and score an even better own-goal. The ball is passed back so hard and high from the half-way line in the QPR goal is forced to back-pedal furiously to get a hand to it and tip it over the crossbar just before it crossed the line.
- QPR are now full of confidence and are attacking at will. Just past the hour mark and Roeder makes a hash of a clearance - completely missing his kick- and the ball is in the Toon net again; but once again the referee disallows Stainrod's effort. However after 74 minutes Carr again rushes out of his goal and is left in no-mans land as the ball is steered home by John Gregory for QPR's third (3-4)
You're Not Singing Any more
- During the next ten minutes the game becomes even more scrappy and is littered with fouls. Another QPR header flies narrowly wide of the post before Waddle heads just over and then has another shot deflected for a corner.
- Then with six minutes to go, Beardsley picks up the ball ten yards within his own half and hits a great cross-field pass to Waddle out on the right-wing. Waddle lollops into the area and crosses for Kenny Wharton to slot the ball home from three yards out. This brings the stunned Toon Army back to life.
- However, just as they were starting a chorus of "You're not singing any more" the words stuck in their throats as a free kick was headed in by Steve Wicks at the far post (4-5)
- Then with 90 minutes on the clock more slack defending allowed Gary Micklewhite to burst into the area and cooly lift the ball over Carr who had already gone to ground (5-5)
A Total Embarrassment
After the game Charlton was livid. "Saturdays game was a total embarrassment, absolutely diabolical. I have never seen anything like it in my 32 years in the game. I went mad at the players because there were times when they were going to give me a heart attack. They just stopped playing"
Big Jack obviously thought the problems went deeper than just the one game. "There are so many things wrong at Newcastle it is incredible. People are asking me where I intend to start with the problems, but I just don't know. It will take years to put right. Some of the players couldn't even breathe in the second half. I don't know where they got their education from before, but, believe me they'll get it from me in the months to come."
QPR manager Alan Mullery added "These kind of games are great for the fans but they give managers heart attacks. We needed a miracle in the second half and we got it" Toonarama



CHARLIE Austin’s second-half penalty preserved QPR's place at the top of the table with victory at Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp’s side found clear-cut chances hard to come by at Huish Park as Austin’s 75th-minute spot-kick proved all-important.

Rangers had Robert Green to thank at the other end as a sixth successive clean sheet secured maximum points, stretching the R’s unbeaten start to eight games in the process.

Rangers made four changes for the trip to Somerset as Armand Traore, Tom Carroll and Jermaine Jenas were preferred to midfield trio Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Karl Henry. Meanwhile, Benoit Assou-Ekotto made his full R’s debut at the expense of defender Nedum Onouha, missing courtesy of the hamstring injury sustained in Wednesday night’s stalemate with Brighton & Hove Albion.

After a nervous opening by both sides, Rangers fashioned their first attack following Traore’s crossfield ball for Danny Simpson overlapping on the right flank. The full-back’s cross was eventually scrambled behind as the visitors began to get a foothold in the game.

Despite clearing the resulting corner, the danger soon returned as Matty Phillips spurned a gilt-edged chance to fire the R’s ahead on nine minutes. Carroll’s through ball fell perfectly into the winger’s path, who skewed his effort wide after bursting through the Glovers’ backline.

The hosts’ response was quick as Yeovil twice threatened a breakthrough from distance in quick succession, stemming from Joseph Halls left-footed shot which flashed harmlessly over the angle of the R’s crossbar. Moments later Joel Grant’s curling effort forced Rob Green to save low down to his left, who smothered the ball at the second attempt.

Town threatened again on 16 minutes as Andrew Williams and Joseph Edwards combined down the R’s left, before the latter slashed Edwards’ pull-back over under pressure from Richard Dunne.

It was Rangers who carved out the next clear sight of goal, counter-attacking at pace through Traore shortly after the half-hour mark. Traore released Charlie Austin, whose blistering effort looked goal-bound but nestled the wrong side of the netting, firing inches wide of Wayne Hennessey’s near post.

At the other end, Redknapp’s men survived something of a lucky escape three minutes before the break. After failing to clear their lines, the R’s defence had Green to thank for making amends as the R’s goalkeeper was at full-stretch to tip Liam Davis’ close-range shot around the post.

Green came to Rangers’ rescue again four minutes after the interval, twice on hand to deny the Glovers the breakthrough. The R’s goalkeeper clawed behind Ralls’ glancing drive before beating away Davis’ thunderous effort as the hosts made a bright start to the second period.

Green and co weathered the storm, at least momentarily, as Austin came within a whisker of firing the R’s ahead on 54 minutes. The striker latched onto a loose ball 25 yards before seeing his low drive fly agonisingly wide of the far post.

Green took centre stage again five minutes after the hour mark, palming away Williams from 12 yards as Yeovil regained the momentum.

The momentum soon swung back decisively in the R’s favour, though, with 15 minutes remaining. After determined work from Austin on the edge of the area, the striker was unfairly tugged to the ground as the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Austin dusted himself down before calmly slotting away the spot-kick into the bottom right-hand corner to the delight of the travelling R’s faithful behind the goal.

Rangers – who handed Niko Kranjcar his debut in the second half – came under pressure as Yeovil fought for a late leveller, spurred on by five minutes injury time.

Substitute Michael Ngoo wasted their best opportunity, skewing a 20-yard shot harmlessly wide as the visitors clung on for all three points.

QPR: Green, Simpson, Traore (Wright-Phillips 60), Dunne, Hill, Phillips (Kranjcar 68), Austin, Carroll, Jenas, O’Neil (Barton 77), Assou-Ekotto.  QPR Official Site

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