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Next: #Ipswich-#QPR (Past Programmes)...Two Years Today: Mark Hughes Appointed to Replace Neil Warnock as QPR Manager

Flashback Two Years

January 11, 2012
1 Man City 20 40 48
2 Man Utd 20 29 45
3 Tottenham 19 16 42
4 Chelsea 20 14 37
5 Arsenal 20 8 36
6 Liverpool 20 6 34
7 Newcastle 20 4 33
8 Stoke 20 -9 29
9 Norwich 20 -5 25
10 Sunderland 20 4 24
11 Everton 19 -2 24
12 Swansea 20 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 20 -4 23
14 Fulham 20 -4 23
15 West Brom 20 -9 22
16 Wolves 20 -14 17
17 QPR 20 -16 17
18 Bolton 20 -18 16
19 Wigan 20 -23 15

- Past QPR-Ipswich Encounters: Old Programmes

- Steve McClaren Named Manager of the Month


- QPR vs Manchester United: 1908 Charity Shield (Bushman Archives)



QPR Official Site

Posted on: Tue 10 Jan 2012

Queens Park Rangers Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Mark Hughes as the Club's new Manager.

The 48 year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Loftus Road and will take charge of First Team training this afternoon.

Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, Hughes said: "It's a great feeling to be back in football and to be the Manager of QPR.

"I'm fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners.
"Nobody can doubt the history of this great Football Club and the passion of its fantastically loyal supporters.

"Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Barclays Premier League, but beyond that, the future is very bright and fills me with great enthusiasm."

QPR Chairman, Tony Fernandes, said: "Mark has a proven track record in the Premier League, bringing a wealth of experience at both Club and international level.

"He has a great passion to achieve as a Manager and has already been hugely successful in his career.

"His ambitions match those of the Board and we are delighted to have him at the helm."

QPR Vice Chairman, Amit Bhatia, added: "Mark has a great managerial pedigree and has proven over the years to be a very astute Manager.

"I am looking forward to working with him to bring success to the Club."

QPR CEO, Philip Beard, said: "Having spoken at length with Mark, I know he is brimming with enthusiasm and anticipation about the challenge of taking QPR forward and I believe he is the perfect choice to deliver the success we all desire."

Vastly-experienced, Hughes has built a reputation as one of Britain's most admired Managers, with success at both Club and international level.

He has a proven track record in the transfer market, recruiting the likes of Vincent Kompany, Nigel de Jong, Moussa Dembele and Christopher Samba to the Premier League.

In his five years in charge of Wales, Hughes turned around the fortunes of the national side, before being appointed Blackburn Rovers boss in September 2004.

He guided Rovers to seventh place in the 2007/08 Premier League campaign, before moving to Manchester City at the start of the following season.

City, with the riches of the Abu Dhabi United investment group, would go on to finish tenth in Hughes' first season in charge, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

His spell in Manchester ended in December 2009, however, when he was controversially replaced by Roberto Mancini despite City sitting pretty in sixth place in the top-flight.

Fulham was his next port of call, where he exceeded all expectations with an eighth place finish and Europa League qualification through the Fair Play League.

Hughes - who has only finished outside the top half of the top-flight once in his managerial career - will be joined at the Club by Assistant Manager Mark Bowen, First Team Coach Eddie Niedzwiecki and Goalkeeping Coach Kevin Hitchcock.

The Club will be making no further comment.

*Mark Hughes will be officially unveiled as the Club's new Manager at a Press Conference on Wednesday.


QPR Official Site

Posted on: Tue 10 Jan 2012

New R's boss Mark Hughes has brought a tried and tested backroom team with him to Loftus Road.

Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock have all followed the Welshman to W12, having worked under Hughes at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Fulham.

Here's some more information on the trio …
Mark Bowen - Assistant Manager

Mark Bowen originally worked with Mark Hughes for the Wales national team.

He started his coaching career with the Wales Under-21 team and soon moved up to the position of Assistant Manager before leaving to join Steve Bruce at Crystal Palace in June 2001.

He moved with Bruce to Birmingham City in December 2001, helping guide the Blues to promotion to the Premier League before joining Hughes at Blackburn.

In June 2008 he followed Hughes to Manchester City, before the duo teamed up once again at Fulham in 2010.

As a player Bowen was known primarily as an attacking left-back but was versatile enough to play in a number of positions, including sweeper, right-back, forward and in midfield.

He enjoyed spells at Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Japanese outfit Shimizu S-Pulse, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Reading - but he was best known for his nine years at Carrow Road with Norwich City.

Most notably, Bowen scored the winning goal in the Canaries' historic UEFA Cup win over Bayern Munich.

Eddie Niedzwiecki - First Team Coach

Eddie Niedzwiecki served as Arsenal's Reserve Team Coach from 2000 to 2004.

Working under Arsene Wenger, Niedzwiecki helped many players progress from Youth Team to First Team level. He also enjoyed coaching spells at Chelsea and Reading.

Having worked with Mark Hughes on a part-time basis with the Wales national team, Niedzwiecki left Arsenal to join up with Hughes at Blackburn Rovers in 2004.

He made the switch to Manchester City along with Hughes in 2008, as well as to Fulham two years later.

As a player Niedzwiecki represented Wrexham and Chelsea and also earned international recognition with Wales.

Kevin Hitchcock - Goalkeeping Coach

A highly-respected goalkeeping coach, Kevin Hitchcock joined Fulham in July 2010.

During his professional career he enjoyed spells at Barking, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town, Chelsea, Northampton Town.

Hitchcock made the transition into coaching when he joined up with Gianluca Vialli at Watford as Goalkeeping Coach in 2001, before later teaming up with Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers.

Following Hughes' appointment as Manager of Manchester City in 2008, Hitchcock also moved to Eastlands.

In March 2010 he was appointed goalkeeping coach at West Ham, leaving the Club in June.

Hitchcock went on to join Fulham, along with Hughes, later that year.


QPR Official Site

Posted on: Tue 10 Jan 2012

Mark Hughes arrives at Loftus Road with the ultimate pedigree in the professional game.

Hughes represented the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea during his playing days, while the former striker also scored over 150 goals in English football.

The 48 year-old began his managerial career with Wales in 1999, while still a player at Southampton.

He also played for both Everton and Blackburn Rovers during his spell in charge of the Welsh national team.
Hughes has since built a reputation as one of Britain's most admired bosses.

He took Wales to the brink of qualification for Euro 2004, only to denied by a play-off loss to Russia.

In 2004, he became Manager at Blackburn and guided them to an FA Cup semi-final and a place in the UEFA Cup.

Hughes molded an impressive side at Ewood Park, signing a host of top players, including bargain additions Ryan Nelsen, David Bentley and Christopher Samba.

He guided Rovers to a seventh place in the 2007/08 Premier League campaign, before moving to Manchester City at the start of the following season.

City, with the riches of the Abu Dhabi United investment group, would go on to finish tenth in Hughes' first season in charge, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.

His spell at City ended in December 2009, when he was controversially replaced by Roberto Mancini.

Fulham was Hughes' next port of call, where his trusted backroom team of Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki - who all worked under the Welshman at City - followed him to Craven Cottage.

He exceeded all expectations with an eighth-place finish and Europa League qualification through the Fair Play League.

Hughes resigned as Fulham boss last June, wishing to 'move on to further his experiences.'


Jan 10, 2013 at 2:43am

Post by Macmoish on Jan 10, 2013 at 2:43am

Before the Official Announcement...

Neil Warnocks column - The Independent

Getting the sack is a fact of life in football management and I should know. I've now been fired by Burton Albion, Notts County, Plymouth Argyle, Oldham Athletic and Queen's Park Rangers. They say it is a results business. It is, but only up to a point. At three of those clubs, including QPR, I'd won promotion.

The problem with that is it raises expectations that a club isn't always geared up to meet. At QPR we probably went up a year too early. In March 2010, when I arrived, we were fighting relegation to League One. By May 2011 we were celebrating promotion to the Premier League after winning the Championship.

Unfortunately, because of the uncertainty over the ownership, we were not able to get into in the transfer market early enough or well enough to build on that in the summer. The bulk of my squad is last year's team – several of them were in the side that nearly went down. When the new owners arrived in the third week of August they told me my remit was to get some players signed in a rush before the deadline, then get to the new year with QPR outside the bottom three. We could then bring in three or four players in the January window.

I feel I have kept to that. We have not been in the bottom three all season. When I look at how managers at other clubs in the Premier League have been given unequivocal support by their board it is an understatement to say I am very disappointed.

We knew we had a tough run of fixtures – we've played Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal in the last six matches – but there were winnable games coming up and I feel we had been playing well enough to win them. Look at our last three League matches. We played very well at Swansea, dominating the second half, held our own at Arsenal, and were leading Norwich. But you can't legislate for Shaun Wright-Phillips giving the ball straight to Arshavin with half an hour left, or Joey Barton getting sent off. A few more points and we'd be mid-table, which is where I feel our football deserves us to be.

While I accept the owner's decision, I do feel if there were more people at the club in positions of power with experience in the game they would have understood how well we have done in the circumstances, and they would've realised that once we brought in the players I had identified there would have been no problem securing a Premier League future.

But no doubt the chairman has had a string of agents in touch telling them their man could do a better job. It looks like it might be Mark Hughes, though I heard around Christmas they were thinking of Zola and Wilkins. Will a new manager make a difference? Not as much as new players will. If you haven't got the players you can't win games, that's another fact of life in football management. I just wish I had the chance to bring in the ones I wanted, both in the summer, and this month. Independent

Ron Bagchi/Guardian

QPR's Tony Fernandes leads the way with Twitter debate on Neil Warnock
The Premier League club owner is the first of his kind to debate with fans over a manager's sacking on the microblogging site

Tony Fernandes, the Queens Park Rangers chairman, is not the first Premier League club owner to take to Twitter to communicate with supporters – Liverpool's John W Henry is another stalwart of the 140-character communiqué – but he is the first to enter into a debate on the microblogging site with fans over the sacking of a manager, following his decision to dismiss Neil Warnock on Sunday evening.

Clive Whittingham, who runs the Loft for Words blog and forum, said that Fernandes's willingness to engage is a welcome development even if he understands those who disagree with the decision. "The previous board kept us in the dark," he said, "on all issues including ticket price hikes. Flavio Briatore once famously said that he didn't care what people who paid £20 to come to matches thought and he ignored all feedback. Fernandes is the exact opposite and that has to be a good thing. Sometimes we might wish that he and Joey Barton would bite their tongues before going on Twitter but we can hardly condemn him for addressing points raised by fans and engaging with them."

Many of the chairman's correspondents touched on the subject of the club's display of ingratitude to Warnock, the manager who took QPR back into the Premier League in his first full season in charge, after a 15-year exile. "I understand but QPR fans remember the past and it has been painful. Neil allowed us our dream of Prem football so we are gutted right now," wrote @katiehind, summing up the views of those feeling sympathy for Warnock.

Others suggested a degree of hypocrisy, given that the club had executed something of a volte face and as recently as Saturday Fernandes had retweeted the observation after the draw with MK Dons: "People need to stand down from full panic mode cool heads needed more then ever."

Whittingham makes an interesting point about the timing. "Eight of our last 10 games are against clubs in the top eight and we play Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea away. If we don't have enough points after the Bolton match on 10 March, we're not realistically going to stay up. So if they were going to sack Warnock, it makes sense to do it now because there would be no point and little chance of seeing off relegation if they hung on for a few more games, then did it later."

Fernandes began to tweet on the subject a few minutes after the announcement had been made on QPR's website. "Very very hard decision," he wrote and, not for the last time, needing the overspill function to satisfy the length of his responses. "I will continue to be open and as transparent as I can. The board and myself had to put the club first and the future. We had to think of the future of the club. I appeal to all fans to give us time and understand the future."

After some supporters carried on the defence of Warnock using the hashtags #clueless, #idiot and #cock to describe the decision and the man who made it, Fernandes replied: "Trust me in my 47 years of life I have never had to make such a tough decision. But I got to do what I think what's right. Its tough being a leader. But decisions have to be made for the club which in the short time I have grown to love ever so much."

His stance divided opinion, one tweeter claiming she was close to throwing in the towel with Rangers, others professing love and subscribing to the view that avoiding relegation was the only priority and that Warnock's sacking, therefore, was "the right call".

"I thank you," wrote Fernandes. "Its a nightmare for me. But I take the good with the bad and continue to be open to all QPR fans."

If his first series of tweets dwelt on the buzzword "future", the latter ones made much of his view that the club was being "open and transparent".

"We have been open and transparent and soon the future will be unveiled and what we are trying to achieve," he wrote. "Was not knee jerked. But premier league can make or break you in weeks. I understand your feelings."

There was praise, too, for Warnock: "There is no doubt neil was a good man. A great man. I and the board had to do what we felt was good for the club."

Later on there was a plea for understanding that "leaders" had sometimes had to make unpalatable choices: "Not expecting all to be pleased but as a leader I have to make decisions. Indecision will kill everything. Time will tell if its the right decision."

Discovering a theme he could run with he continued: "Long long day. You live or die by your decisions. Neil warnock is a legend for what he's done at QPR. I thank him. We move on. You never know if a decision is right or wrong. Only time will tell. But decisions have to be made for all. Onwards and upwards."

And with a final flourish, insisting his only motive was "putting QPR first", he excused himself to focus on a "big meeting with our customer service heads" and, although he presumably meant Air Asia's, he could be forgiven for thinking he had a lesson to teach them from Sunday's dialogue with Rangers' fans. Guardian


Hughes to join QPR today with Samba top target with £20m kitty

Mark Hughes is expected to be unveiled as the new QPR boss today - after being offered a £20million transfer kitty by Tony Fernandes to keep QPR in the Premier League.
Sportsmail revealed how Hughes has already been offered the job as Neil Warnock’s replacement.
On Tuesday morning, Fernandes tweeted: 'Yes I am sure we will be announcing new QPR manager today.'
The former Manchester City and Fulham boss, accompanied by his adviser Kia Joorabchian, was at Loftus Road on Monday to talk about his return to London with QPR chief executive Phil Beard.

Familiar face: Mark Hughes, who is expected to be named as the new QPR boss this week, took Christopher Samba to Blackburn from Hertha Berlin in 2007
Later Hughes said: ‘I’m pleased with how it’s gone but nothing’s confirmed. We have to discuss a number of things but it went well. I’m an ambitious manager and hopefully the next club I’m at can match those ambitions. We’re still discussing the ideas that the club have and I’ve got to think very carefully about what’s been said.
‘It’s interesting what everyone here has had to say. It’s an interesting project.’
Hughes is expected to be confirmed as the new boss by Friday, with his first game in charge against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.
And the ex-Manchester United striker has told co-owners Amit Bhatia and Fernandes that Blackburn defender Chris Samba is his key target.

Wielding the axe: Tony Fernandes (right) moved swiftly to sack Neil Warnock, who took the Hoops to the Premier League
Hughes was responsible for bringing Samba to England, signing the Congo centre half when he was Rovers boss in 2007.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Boxing Day that Samba was on Warnock’s hitlist and QPR’s £5m offer was rejected last week. They face competition from Tottenham.

With injury concerns over both Ledley King and William Gallas, Spurs have put central defender Samba at the top of their list. Harry Redknapp is aware of Hughes’s interest and the White Hart Lane manager will table a £7m bid in a bid to get his man.
Samba is keen to leave Ewood Park and a move to Champions League-chasing Spurs would be favourable to the 27-year-old.
But Hughes hopes his relationship with the player will change his mind.
He will also press ahead with the club’s plan to sign Manchester City misift Wayne Bridge — a player he bought as City boss from Chelsea. Another defender, Chelsea’s Alex, is set to join Rangers in a £3m move.

Target: City outcast Wayne Bridge (right) - who commands a £90,000-per-week wage - spent the latter half of last season on loan at West Ham
Fulham striker Andy Johnson is also being considered by the ex-Craven Cottage boss. QPR’s £1.5m bid was rejected last week, but Johnson is determined to move.
Chelsea’s superstar striker Didier Drogba has also been mentioned. The 33-year-old has only six months left on his Chelsea contract and Fernandes has indicated that he is willing to stretch the budget by perhaps another £5m for a marquee name.

Lofty ambtions: Fernandes would love to bring Drogba to Loftus Road as a marquee signing
Such deals, and Malaysian businessman Fernandes’ global vision for the club, is understood to be vital in persuading Hughes that QPR is the right move.

Key to that vision is Fernandes’ interest in the Dairy Crest site in White City, as QPR look to relocate to a new stadium. Mail


Draws! Santa Cruz! Shouts of Leslie! Top 10 things QPR fans can expect under Mark Hughes

By Dan Silver in Football Banter

Published 16:57 09/01/12



Mark Hughes was at Loftus Road on Monday to discuss becoming QPR's new boss, apparently beating off a bid for the job from - my word! - Ray Wilkins.

Hughes arrives for QPR talks

Wilkins wants QPR job

But what should fans expect if and Sparky is named Hoops gaffer? MirrorFootball has the answers:

1) Handshakes (or lack thereof):

Sparky was a feisty little so-and-so on the pitch and his temperament clearly hasn't changed much off of it. Rival managers can't do 'afters' on the touchline, of course, but Hughes has certainly had his fair share of post-match handshake wars instead. In 2009, Arsene Wenger snubbed him after Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 in a Carling Cup tie at Eastlands.

Then, in February 2011, Roberto Mancini - Hughes' replacement at City, of course - rubbed the Welshman up the wrong way by not looking him in the eye following Fulham's 1-1 draw in Manchester. In both cases Hughes railed at the lack of respect shown by his opposite numbers. "I am old-fashioned," he harrumphed.

Which is presumably why HE failed to shake Stoke boss Tony Pulis' hand following a bad tempered Carling Cup in December 2010 tie that saw Fulham striker Moussa Dembele depart the Britannia on crutches...

2) Semi-finals

Sparky's Cup record to date has been pretty decent - as long as you don't mind not actually making it as far as the final.

At Blackburn, he achieved three semis in three years (quiet at the back...): the FA Cup in 2004-05; Carling Cup in 2005-06; and then the FA Cup again in 2006-07. All were lost to 'top four opposition' (Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea respectively).

He also took Manchester City to the Carling Cup semi-finals in 2009-10, but didn't get to lose to Manchester United in person as he was replaced by Roberto Mancini a few days before the first leg.

Still, there's always fifth time lucky, eh?

3) Eye-watering transfer fees

Those who thought Neil Warnock had spent a fair bit of money since Tony Fernandes arrived at Loftus Road might struggle to cope under the Hughes regime.

Admittedly he was playing with the footballing equivalent of Monopoly money at Manchester City, but he still sanctioned paying an eye-watering £24million for workaday defender Joleon Lescott.

In comparison, the money spunked on Emmanuel Adebayor (£25million), Kolo Toure (£16million), Roque Santa Cruz (£17.5million) and Gareth Barry (£12million) seemed positively great value for money. But not the £32million handed over for Robinho.

4) Old Blackburn players

Nobody could accuse Hughes of lacking loyalty. Well, nobody who isn't a Fulham fan at any rate. No, he loves his players so much that he regularly tries to sign them again as soon as he pitches up at a new club.

Both Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz accompanied Hughes on the journey from Ewood Park to Eastlands, and he tried to sign them both again while at Fulham.

With Santa Cruz and Wayne Bridge out in the cold at Eastlands, the time could be right for another reunion.

5) Draws

In recent years, Hughes has morphed from a winning manager into a drawing manager. Let's hope his downward spiral stops there, or QPR fans are heading for another season in the Championship.

He first contracted the disease at Eastlands, where a streak of seven consecutive league draws went some way towards him being shown the door.

Undeterred, Sparky took that form on to Fulham, where he took one point from the first six of his seven games in charge. His record at the Cottage stands at P43 W14 L14 D16, which should ensure QPR are popular with those that play the fixed-odds coupons if nothing else.

6) Players played out of position

Manchester City's amazing success under Roberto Mancini was down in no small part to the performances of Vincent Kompany, a Hughes signing. Although most of the credit he might want to claim is negated somewhat by the fact Sparky played the brilliant Belgian as a defensive midfielder.

It was only when Mancini moved the £6million capture from Hamburg into the back four that everything clicked.

7) Mark Bowen

A fiercely proud son of Glyndwr, Hughes won 72 caps as a player for Wales and then went on to manage the national team for 41 games too.

As such, you can understand why he'd want to surround himself with Welshmen wherever he went. Hughes signed countrymen Robbie Savage and Bellamy while at Blackburn, and took keen golfer Bellamy with him to Manchester City afterwards.

His most treasured friend from the valleys, though, is Mark Bowen. The former Norwich defender first worked under Hughes in the national set-up, and has dutifully followed him around like a Llanelli llapdog ever since.

Presumably there's already a warm seat in the QPR dug-out with Bowen's name on it.

8) "Leslie!"

Should you hear opposition fans shouting out the name 'Leslie!' in a rather effeminate manner next season, don't worry: it's not because former Blue Peter presenters John ... or ... Judd are in the ground, but rather because that is Hughes' proper given name.

As fans of Manchester City and Bolton take great pleasure in incessantly reminding him whenever he rolls into town.

9) Kia Joorabchian

Hughes shipped up at Loftus Road with his lovable Iranian advisor in tow, delighting all those who recognise Joorabchian's outstanding contributions to football over the years - from third-party ownership to Carlos Tevez transfer requests. No surprise, really, after Hughes' memorable Sky Sports performance in which he became virtually the only man in football to defend Tevez for his antics in Munich.

The former car dealer has been tight with Sparky since his City spell, but the Bayern bench affair and its aftermath has surely burned Kia's bridges at Eastlands. So Hoops fans might expect plenty of transfer activity involving some of the 60-odd players to whom Joorabchian allegedly owns the economic rights.

10) Slapstick comedy

When not getting into handshake-related rows, Hughes can often be seen exhibiting his love of free dance, as this clip from his time at Manchester City proves.

And should it all go wrong on the Villa Park pitch, then at least a post-football career on Strictly Come Dancing could be in the offing. Mirror


Mark Hughes's marriage of convenience at QPR offers way in from cold

Former Manchester City manager needs Queens Park Rangers job to put him back on the football map

reddit this

Dominic Fifield
Dominic Fifield
guardian.co.uk, Monday 9 January 2012 14.48 EST
Article history

Mark Hughes has been in the wilderness
Mark Hughes has been in the football wilderness since leaving Fulham suddenly in June last year. Photograph: Phil Cole/Getty Images

Mark Hughes had always spied a future in management in west London, even if the identity of his ambitious employer of choice has morphed over time. Where once he had craved a return to money‑flushed Chelsea, only instead to re‑emerge briefly further down the road at Craven Cottage, now it is Queens Park Rangers who offer an opportunity. Initially he will be charged simply with securing top‑flight survival; the objectives in the longer term will be significantly more grandiose.

At first glance the 48-year-old's eagerness to take up the reins at Loftus Road might provoke surprise. After all, back in June, his justification for departing Fulham had apparently been a desire to compete further up the Premier League table than with a side he had just steered into eighth. He had hoped to be offered a speedy return with Aston Villa only for that move never to materialise. Sunderland, too, ended up recruiting elsewhere last month. QPR, newly promoted after 15 years out of the limelight but increasingly forlorn after a nine-match winless run, would hardly appear to represent even a sideways shift.

Yet, as unlikely a marriage as it might appear, there is logic aplenty both in discarding Neil Warnock to turn to Hughes and in the Welshman accepting the brief. This is a convenient alliance for club and coach, an appointment that still smacks of ambition on the part of the chairman, Tony Fernandes, and could yet offer Hughes the platform he has been seeking. Certainly, there was a sense that Hughes needed to emerge from the wilderness before he became football management's latest forgotten man, lost from the dugout to punditry on Champions League nights with Sky where, only recently, he had hoped to be competing among rather than commentating on Europe's elite.

Despite being successful at all the clubs he has managed, Hughes has a reputation to restore. The abruptness of his departure from Fulham had felt farcical when no job of any substance was immediately forthcoming. If life at Craven Cottage had lacked the financial clout and public profile he had enjoyed over 18 months at Manchester City, he had still taken charge of – and eventually excelled with – a team who had recently graced the Europa League final and were an established force in the Premier League. Mohamed Al Fayed subsequently labelled him "a strange man" and a "flop" for walking away.

His insistence in riposte that he remained "a young, ambitious manager" rang ridiculously as he found himself cast to the fringes and attempting to defend the baffling conduct of Carlos Tevez – a player he signed at City and with whom he shares the same adviser, Kia Joorabchian – at Bayern Munich on live television while flanked by a disbelieving Graeme Souness.

This was not how it was supposed to be for a man lauded for his stewardship of Blackburn, and who was considered deeply unfortunate to be relieved of his duties at Eastlands in December 2009. In that context a club like QPR, who he would not previously have considered progressive but are now under new and ambitious ownership, cannot be ignored. He will have significant funding to strengthen this squad – that will not necessarily be a straightforward process in the midwinter window – and will be offered a vision of a bright future that will appeal.

In the short term Fernandes will justify his ruthless decision on Warnock in the wake of recent results by pointing to a trend established last season by Roberto Di Matteo's brutally swift and unexpected dismissal at West Bromwich Albion. The Italian had steered the club back into the top flight at the first time of asking and had already won at Arsenal and claimed the only points Manchester United would surrender all season at Old Trafford when, in early February, a thrashing at City prompted the axe. West Brom had secured only one win in nine league games at that stage and, even if they remained above the cut‑off, the hierarchy could see the campaign was headed only one way.

Roy Hodgson, who had performed a remarkable salvage mission in his first few months at Fulham, promptly lost only two of 12 matches to finish 11th. What had initially appeared to be a sudden decision driven by panic had suddenly been exposed as a masterstroke. The hope will be that the former Wales manager, accompanied by his familiar backroom staff of Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, will have a similarly galvanising effect at Loftus Road.

The risk attached hinges largely on whether Hughes can hit the ground running. At Blackburn and Fulham, he endured somewhat stodgy starts, form QPR can ill afford. Rovers had boasted two points from five games when he succeeded Souness at Ewood Park in September 2004 and, despite beating Portsmouth in his first game, were bottom after failing to win any of the next eight. A final position of 15th represented a triumph in trying circumstances. Even at Fulham, where the need to revitalise the squad felt less pressing, he won only twice in his first 10 matches.

Fernandes cannot afford the new man to be a slow starter this time around, though this has the makings of a partnership to succeed" GUARDIAN


QPR set to install Mark Hughes as manager with Welshman planning key signing

Mark Hughes is set to be installed as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday and is planning a raft of signings including the exciting young Brazilian striker Henrique.

QPR set to install Mark Hughes as manager with Welshman planning key signings

Hughes and his adviser Kia Joorabchian arrived at QPR yesterday to finalise the deal for the former Fulham manager to succeed Neil Warnock who was sacked on Sunday.

A formal announcement will take place today ahead of a press conference tomorrow with Hughes also bringing his trusted backroom staff of Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock with him.

Telegraph Sport revealed that Rangers owner Tony Fernandes had lost faith in Warnock’s ability to save the club from relegation and wanted to make a change before it was too late.

Talks with Rangers chief executive Phil Beard – Fernandes was overseas - continued into the evening although they are thought to have centered more on the club’s transfer plans during the remainder of the window rather Hughes’ contract.

The 48-year-old has already agreed in principle to succeed Warnock, and was signing his contract last night, but wants assurances that Rangers will spend the funds not only to save themselves from relegation but to eventually become an Premier League force. His arrival will represent a coup for Fernandes.

Hughes quit Fulham in the summer because he believed the club’s ambitions did not match his own and although Rangers are less established in the top-flight it’s understood he is intrigued by the project being undertaken by Fernandes and which includes plans for a new 30,000-seat stadium.

For that to happen Rangers, who are 17th in the table just one point above the relegation places, having taken just two points from their last eight league matches, must avoid dropping back into the Championship.

Bids have already been submitted for a number of players including Blackburn Rovers’ Christopher Samba. However Rangers face stiff competition from Samba with Tottenham Hotspur expected to trump their offer of £5m by bidding £8m for the defender. Spurs are trying to tie up a deal before Hughes’ appointment because they know the Welshman has a good relationship with Samba having signed him for Blackburn.

Rangers are already in talks with Chelsea defender Alex – who might be persuaded to join them – and have discussed a move for Manchester City’s Nedum Onuoha, who has also previously worked with Hughes, while the knee injury to Ali Faurlin, which has ruled him out for the rest of the season, might also affect their plans.

It will be interesting to see whether Hughes bids for City’s Nigel de Jong – although it may be difficult to persuade the Dutch international to join Rangers – and will want to bolster his squad’s attacking options. He also previously worked with Fulham’s Andy Johnson – a £2m has been made and rejected – and Bobby Zamora.

Fernandes has discussed the possibility of making a move for Wayne Bridge – Warnock told him he did not want the defender – who was signed for City by Hughes and although the left-back is keen to return to London he would have to take a cut on his £90,000-a-week wages even though he would be a free transfer.

It’s also likely that Rangers are planning at least one spectacular move in the market – and bids for the likes of Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe have been discussed - and the possibility of Henrique is intriguing. The 20-year-old Brazilian was won the Golden Boot, the best player at the tournament, at the under-20 World Cup and was presented with his award in Zurich ahead of the Balon D’Or celebrations. Henrique currently plays for Sao Paulo but is understood to be keen to leave and move to a European club. It had been claimed he had a 20m euro release clause in his contract should be move abroad but that may not be the case.

Hughes’ first game in charge will be away to Newcastle United on Sunday and he will go there with a depleted squad unless signings are made quickly. Joey Barton is suspended against his former club while Adel Taarabt and Armand Traore are at the African Cup of Nations.

Hughes will want to re-build Rangers’s defence and there is also concern at the club that some of the signings made by Warnock last summer have simply not worked. For example, Fernandes has questioned the £35,000-plus a week wages being paid to striker Jay Bothroyd – who yesterday used Twitter to say Hughes would be a “tremendous” appointment – and the worth of several other signings.

Fernandes, who is backed by a group of Malaysian investors, has promised to make substantial funds available to Hughes but was unsure as to whether he should release the money to Warnock especially as there were not only misgivings over the 63-year-old but suggestions that he might retire at the end of this season. Telegraph

London 24/Ian Cooper - The QPR Verdict: Warnock had to go as ruthless Fernandes sticks to his word

Rangers boss attracts sympathy for manner of his dismissal – but the chairman proves the future of the club is all he cares about

Football, we are so often reminded, is a results business, and in relieving Neil Warnock of his job as QPR manager on Sunday chairman Tony Fernandes displayed a grasp of reality that should serve the club well.

Upon hearing the news of Warnock's sacking the response among QPR fans was almost universal disbelief. To fire the man who guided Rangers back into the Premier League via a brilliant season as Championship winners was, on the face of it, a misguided move poorly timed, less than five months into the new campaign.

At worst, Fernandes appeared a figure who displayed a thorough lack of understanding of the game, refusing to allow Warnock the time and opportunity he deserved to arrest his sides poor run of league form.

But Fernandes would remind those critics that he has not got to where he is today owner of AirAsia and Formula Ones Team Lotus through sentimentality.

There is no room for a soft heart in business, and there certainly isn't in the cut-throat world of the Premier League, where a run of poor results such as QPR have endured can all too often see a team become cut adrift in the bottom three and heading for the drop.

In Fernandes' eyes, action was needed, and it is worth considering his statements at his first press conference at Loftus Road on August 19, coming immediately after he had replaced Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone: "I like to get good consensus, I won't make predictions, I'd rather let results speak for themselves and let's see where we go, said Fernandes. "I think football is a fantastic business if it is run well."

Less than five months on from that day, results have spoken loudly enough for Fernandes to act - swiftly, and ruthlessly.

After a run of one win in 12 games in all competitions, and with his side sitting precariously close to the relegation zone in 17th, Warnock and his coaching team of Mick Jones and Keith Curle were shown the exit.

The move came as a surprise largely because, until this juncture, Fernandes had shown little sign of such a ruthless nature. Constructing an image almost of a favourite uncle, the amiable Malaysian had thrown his weight behind Warnock, insisting his experience made him the ideal candidate to take QPR forward.

Certainly the move came as a shock to Warnock, who after the 1-1 draw with MK Dons in the FA Cup third round on Saturday shrugged off suggestions that his chairman's patience was wearing thin.

But then in recent weeks and months Warnock had appeared a manager further and further removed from the reality of his situation. Lost in his outrage at a series of decisions which he insisted had cost his side vital points, such as Shaun Wright-Phillips disallowed goal against West Brom and Joey Barton's sending off against Norwich last weekend, Warnock's press conferences had become less focused on the importance of survival, and more pre-occupied with pursuing personal vendettas against those who he perceived to have crossed him.

Whether Warnock genuinely felt aggrieved, or whether he was merely attempting to deflect the criticism which increasingly came his way, is debatable perhaps it was both.

But such talk, allied to the disappointing form of almost all of his summer signings, would have alerted Fernandes to the fact that all was not well in the QPR camp.

So too would the increasing rumours of unrest on the training pitch whispers of captain Joey Barton refusing to train under coach Curle's 'old-fashioned' methods would only have heightened Fernandes' alarm.

But perhaps most telling of all, were Warnock's tactical decisions on the pitch. The manager seemed unable to decide on his first-choice line-up. Striker Jay Bothroyd was dropped, re-instated, and then dropped again. Midfielder Shaun Derry has been in and out of the side, while 34-year-old Heidar Helguson was left on his own up front, and Wright-Phillips seemed utterly lost in his 'free role' which Warnock insisted he was suited to.

In defiance, Warnock pointed to injuries to the likes of Anton Ferdinand, DJ Campbell and Kieron Dyer, and to a point he was right, but the blame for the under-performance of his key players lay solely with him.

Fernandes recognised that fact, and baulked at the thought of handing more cash to a manager who might very well spend it unwisely, simply repeating his failings of the summer. Instead, Fernandes made a brave decision.

It is hard not to like Warnock. Charismatic, approachable and never short of an opinion, he is a reporters dream and often a press officer's nightmare. At QPR he had appeared determined to re-invent himself as a family man enjoying one last hurrah in the big time before retiring from the managerial game.

But tactically he was found wanting, and although the circumstances of his dismissal warrant sympathy, the board had to act with head over heart, and it is hard to argue with the logic of his dismissal.

Fears will arise that sacking Warnock dismisses any notion of stability at Loftus Road , that the habitual hiring and firing of managers under the clubs previous regime is about to be repeated.

But in contrast to the flippant actions of Ecclestone and Briatore, the decision taken by Fernandes on Sunday was clearly not one taken lightly. In his words, it was taken 'with the club's best interests at heart', and it is the future of the club which must come above all else.

Post by Macmoish on Jan 10, 2013 at 2:44am

And post-Announcement articles

The Mark Hughes Era Begins: Big Plans for Little QPR!


The Mark Hughes Era Begins: Good luck to Mark Hughes...Good luck to QPR...And of course, deepest and most profound thanks to Neil Warnock - who, along with Ian Holloway, a decade ago, truly "saved the Club" and took us to a higher level. Five, ten, twenty years from now - wherever we are personally and as a club: Be it in Europe playing at "New Loftus Road" Stadium; or in the lower leagues - Neil Warnock will be spoken in the revered, warm tones which are reserved for Alec Stock and Gordon Jago; Dave Sexton and Terry Venables. Neil Warnock has secured his place in QPR history; in QPR folklore; in the pantheon of greatest QPR Managers. So thank you again.

GUARDIAN/Jamie Jackson

What Mark Hughes must do to get Queens Park Rangers going again

Making some smart moves in the transfer market and hitting the ground running will be two of Hughes's priorities at QPR

Strengthen quickly

Managers live and die by their signings and Neil Warnock's summer recruitment drive proved the bell toll for his hopes of retaining his job. Of Kieron Dyer, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jay Bothroyd, Danny Gabbidon, DJ Campbell, Armand Traoré, Bruno Perone, Brian Murphy, Anton Ferdinand and Joey Barton only the latter two have a case for not disappointing, and even that is a relative judgement.

Now Mark Hughes has to utilise the next three weeks to strengthen all departments of his side while turning round a rotten run of two points from the past eight league outings. The Welshman may chase Darren Bent, Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora to lead his attack, Chris Samba, Sébastien Bassong, Alex, Nedum Onuoha and Wayne Bridge to stop up the defence, Niko Kranjcar, Giovani dos Santos, Junior Hoilett and Josh McEachran to enhance the midfield. The word is that Tony Fernandes will "back Hughes if he can entice some big names", so this now becomes a test of his contacts book.

Hit the ground running
Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Everton and Bolton Wanderers are the league opposition starting from Sunday until 10 March before Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea come into view. QPR stand 17th, so Hughes will hope to ensure that the club has a safety cushion before the season moves towards the defining month of May.

Get QPR scoring
Especially at home. Nine league goals before the congregation at the supposedly hostile Loftus Road is not good enough. Neither is the one more scored on the road meaning that QPR have managed less than a strike a game from their 20 matches. An impression of the season so far is Jamie Mackie and the left-back Traoré bombing forward and delivering dangerous balls only for Bothroyd and Campbell, who has been hampered by injury, being unable to convert. Warnock came to rely on the 34-year-old Heidar Helguson whose seven league goals in 13 matches is an impressive return but the Icelander requires help. And not only from the attack: Barton and the full-back Luke Young, Bothroyd and Mackie are the next highest scorers with two.

Replace Faurlín

While QPR's insipid performance in the hardly deserved 1-1 FA Cup draw at MK Dons confirmed to Fernandes that Warnock should go, Alejandro Faurlín's anterior cruciate ligament injury in the tie leaves a creation void with the side's best performer ruled out for the remainder of the campaign. Perhaps Hughes can remind Adel Taarabt that he is the reigning Championship player of the season and was the team's totem before promotion and Barton's arrival and finally coax match-shaping displays from the temperamental Moroccan.

Solve the Barton problem
Barton is captain and the highest earner and how Hughes handles him will be instructive. The 29-year-old with a penchant for throwing his weight around on Twitter has failed to do so effectively in a QPR shirt – it is a struggle to recall any match he has won for the team. After Hughes met his squad for the first time at the training ground on Tuesday afternoon Barton walked to his car with a gesture to the TV cameras that said he was not allowed, or did not want, to speak.

This followed a heated exchange with Matt Holland, the former Charlton midfielder, on Twitter on Monday after which Barton stated he would avoid the social media site: "Am going to abstain for a week, see what the withdrawal symptoms are like. Have a nice week people. Spk soon," he wrote. Yet how long he can resist is moot and Hughes will not want any of his players straying off-message. Whether the new manager decides to retain Barton as skipper and if he can get him to shine on the field could define each man's fortune this season.

Stay the distance
Now 48, his CV already had Blackburn Rovers, Wales, Manchester City and Fulham on it before Hughes strode into the old club of Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles to take charge.Successful everywhere he has managed (including City, despite being sacked), Hughes wants to build a legacy and has three, four, maybe five years in mind. Yet if he performs grandly this season chairmen will be quick to speed-dial his agent, Kia Joorabchian, with offers and, as a self-stated "ambitious" manager, the Welshman will listen.

Hughes is also Fernandes's first managerial appointment after the Malaysian inherited Warnock from the previous regime, and with QPR's majority shareholder still learning the moves of the Premier League his relationship with his new No1 is vital. On Monday, Fernandes tweeted: "You live or die with your decisions. I'm sorry to those I upset. Time will tell if we made the right or wrong decision. But a decision had to be made. I thank neil for all he's done and welcome mark to the QPR." Guardian


Queens Park Rangers give new manager Mark Hughes free rein to overhaul club in quest to become real force.

Mark Hughes has been given the mandate for a complete overhaul of Queens Park Rangers following his appointment on Tuesday as the club’s new manager on a two-and-a-half year contract.

Hughes will be involved in everything from the plans for a new 30,000-capacity stadium in west London and a state-of-the-art training ground to revamping QPR's scouting network, medical facilities and sports science department.

The 48 year-old has vowed to completely revamp the club, which is not regarded as up to Premier League standard, and is understood to be excited by the project and substantial financial backing he has been handed to create a new force in top-flight football with the support of owner Tony Fernandes and the Asian investors behind him.

Hughes’ immediate task, however, will be to stave off the prospect of relegation, with Rangers in 17th place just one point outside the bottom three, and it was instructive that in the press release issued by the club on Tuesday it stressed his record in signing players — including Nigel de Jong and Christopher Samba who he could attempt to attract to Loftus Road.

There are serious concerns about the strength of the squad and some of the signings made by the previous manager Neil Warnock who, as Telegraph Sport revealed, had lost the support of Fernandes and was sacked on Sunday.

Indeed Rangers are hoping to complete at least one new signing before Hughes’s first match in charge, away to Newcastle United this weekend with a renewed bid expected for Samba. Chelsea defender Alex is among other targets being identified.

Hughes, who took his first training session on Tuesday within hours of signing his deal, will be presented to the media today and will explain the reasons why he believes Rangers’ can fulfil his demand as a club that matches his own ambition — something he said Fulham failed to do when he left them last summer.

It is understood that the Welshman has reasoned that with Fulham’s infrastructure in place and the club apparently happy to simply remain in the Premier League, and despite plans to upgrade Craven Cottage, he didn’t feel there was scope for much improvement. At Rangers he inherits a completely different scenario where he can make a far greater impact.

Hughes arrives at Rangers with his trusted backroom staff of Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock and said on Tuesday: “It’s a great feeling to be back in football and to be manager of QPR. I’m fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners.

“Nobody can doubt the history of this great football club and the passion of its fantastically loyal supporters. Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Premier League, but beyond that the future is very bright and fills me with great enthusiasm.”

Fernandes said that Hughes’ desire to prove himself made him the ideal appointment. “He had a great passion to achieve as a manager and has already been hugely successful in his career,” he said. TELEGRAPH

The Independent - Complete control!

QPR's new man will relish being in control of the club
Mark Hughes will be given a freer rein to implement his ideas and ambitions than he was granted at Manchester City or Fulham


If there is a starting point for Mark Hughes' reign at Queen's Park Rangers, it is in the level of control that he will be afforded. Lower the eyebrows at a return to management for a relegation fight, forget QPR's recent history of upheaval and under-achievement. Mark Hughes is back in management because he has the chance to mould a football club in his image; an old-fashioned ideology perhaps, but one that was too good to turn down.

Only recently, in his admission about the devastation he felt at leaving Manchester City just over two years ago, Hughes offered this: "I compromised myself by allowing things to happen that I was not comfortable with.

"There were certain things I wasn't comfortable with and I allowed them to happen under my watch. The way it was sold to me was that I was still in charge of football things, but I'm presented with this dotted line, shown all sorts of charts and I thought, 'What the hell's all this?' I have an understanding of business and business models, but sometimes, really, it's about your relationships with people.

"Bringing in all these business people and business consultants to tell people what to do, and how to structure their club, wasn't right, but it was my own fault because I allowed it to happen. At the time I just wanted the club to succeed and you could see that the train was going in the right direction."

That is where the reasoning for a man who left Fulham seven months ago after finishing in the top 10 of the Premier League and took over as Neil Warnock's successor yesterday should begin. It is easy to forget the ascendancy of Hughes' career before he moved to Manchester City, before Sheikh Mansour took over and before the blue half of Manchester exploded.

Hughes had led Blackburn Rovers to European competition. He spoke of ambition when he left Ewood Park, but unwittingly walked into an avalanche of it on joining City. It is sometimes forgotten that it was Thaksin Shinawatra who was in control when Hughes was appointed in 2008. A football club changed its ambitions, its owners and its identity on Hughes' watch and for a man who was at Manchester United for 15 years, having power wrestled from the manager's office was never a prospect that he would be able to stomach.Perhaps the signing of Robinho on transfer-deadline day in August 2008 gave the greatest indication that Hughes had been usurped in the desire for a marquee signing. It would be unlikely for such an event to transpire during his latest managerial role.

This time the canvas presented before the 48-year-old by QPR owner Tony Fernandes has been left blank. The instruction is clear; stay up this year with investment in the current transfer window and then push for the top 10 next season when there will be the entire summer to show full intent in the transfer market.

That of course appeals. Hughes is no fool. He needs to strengthen his squad, and he will be given the finance to attract more players of the calibre of Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips, who were late signals of intent after the club had been taken over by Fernandes last summer.

But in building a football club there is a real, genuine attraction. In putting in place an infrastructure for two owners who have said all the right things about their combined ambition, there has been real desire from Hughes. He will revamp the club's scouting and youth set-up. There will be an increased use of sports science and the belief is that his profile will make the summer rebuilding at Loftus Road easier. The targeted players will be higher and the target from the owners will be as well.

Hughes agreed a two-and-a-half year contract and he will need that amount of time to push for the Premier League's second tier that is beginning to form underneath City, United, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. That is the size of the ambition within the boardroom at Loftus Road, and this is perhaps the greatest contrast to the situation that Hughes walked away from at Craven Cottage. Then, after an eighth-placed finish, Hughes was rebuffed in his attempts to kick on in the transfer market. It did not make sense. As a result, he walked, ill-prepared to tread water.

Those that have played for Hughes talk of a meticulous attention to detail, of the strength of the working quartet he forms along with Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock, who have all joined him at Rangers.

"Mark was very thorough in everything he did," said Shay Given, who signed for Hughes at City. "Training was very sharp and match-orientated. We didn't train long but it was very intense. He wanted high intensity. Players really had to work hard in training just like they would play in games. He didn't leave any stone unturned in his preparation.

"I got on well with him. I enjoyed my time with Mark and the backroom staff. They work well as a team. They're comfortable working for each other. He has people he can trust around him. I worked with Kevin Hitchcock who is a great coach and there is Eddie and Mark as well. They're a really good team. They bounce off each other. That is why they have been successful.

"Mark Hughes covers all to be honest; both sports science and video analysis that big clubs would need. He's very thorough. I'm sure he'll do the same at QPR. They will be extremely well prepared.

"You respected him as a person and a manager because of what he did in the game and achieved as a manager," Given added. "You can see the clubs he's been at have been a success in the sense they've gone on from where they've been. Players want to play for him.

"He has that respect and aura and you could approach him if you wanted to. It was a mutual respect between him and the players. I think he will do well at QPR. He's ambitious. If the owners are going to invest in the team, he would have asked the questions about who he can bring in. He does want to do well. That is one of the reasons he left Fulham. He wants to progress QPR to be a club settled in the Premier League. If they do invest in three or four players, other teams will be looking over their shoulders."

As may one or two managers. Hughes is back, and do not let Rangers' recent history undermine the size of his ambition. Independent

Daily Star


ABOVE: Mark Hughes vowed to save QPR from the drop after signing a two-and-a-half-year contract I’m fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners
Mark Hughes
11th January 2012 By Paul Brown
MARK HUGHES vowed to save QPR from the drop after signing a two-and-a-half-year contract at Loftus Road.

Mark Hughes, 48, had refused to agree terms until he was convinced the club matched his ambition but yesterday took charge after being promised a £20m transfer kitty.

The former Manchester City, Wales and Fulham boss replaces Neil Warnock, who was sacked on Sunday.

Sparky, who was impressed by the club’s plans for a new 30,000-seat stadium, said: “It’s a great feeling to be back in football and to be the manager of QPR.

“I’m fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners.

“The immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Premier League. But beyond that, the future is very bright and fills me with great enthusiasm.”

Hughes walked out on Fulham claiming he had doubts about the club’s ambition, but was won over by the plans of Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes.

He agreed to become QPR’s ninth full-time manager in just four years after missing out on vacancies at Aston Villa and Sunderland.

Hughes hopes to make Fulham striker Andy Johnson his first signing, with the clubs £500,000 apart on his valuation.

He is also chasing Blackburn defender Chris Samba, City misfits Nedum Onuoha and Wayne Bridge, and Chelsea defender Alex.

Rangers chairman Fernandes said he faced a backlash from fans unhappy at his treatment of Warnock, who won promotion in his first full season at the club.

But QPR could be in the bottom three before they face Newcastle on Sunday, and Fernandes said: “You live or die with your decisions.

“I’m sorry to those I upset. Time will tell if we made the right or wrong decision. But a decision had to be made.”

Hughes met his players and took training for the first time yesterday, with midfielder Tommy Smith the first to give him a warm welcome.

Smith said: “We’re all very pleased. His record as a manager has been good, and his playing record speaks for itself, so it seems like a positive move.

“Maybe certain players who didn’t think they had a chance under the last manager will now.”

Warnock said last night: “People think every time you get a new manager it works, but we will have to see. I am still feeling very confident.” Daily Star

Mirror/John Cross
Hughes to get £1m bonus if QPR stay up

Mark Hughes will be paid Champions League money to manage QPR - and get a bumper bonus if he keeps them in the Premier League.

The former Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss Hughes has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal that's worth nearly £10million, making him one of the best paid managers in the top flight.

At around £3m-a-year, Hughes is just behind the likes of Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini in terms of wages.

There are also big-money bonuses written into his deal, including around £1m for saving the west London side from their current precarious position one point and one place above the bottom three.

QPR owner Tony Fernandes has also promised Hughes around £30m to spend to prevent the Hoops making an instant return to the Championship - although there is likely to be a clear-out as well as new arrivals.

Aston Villa and England striker Darren Bent is Rangers' top transfer target, while the likes of defenders Clint Hill and Fitz Hall are set to be sold off this month in a major shake-up of the squad.

Hughes, 48, will be officially unveiled on Wednesday and will be in charge for Sunday's televised game against Newcastle.

"I'm fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners," he said.

"Nobody can doubt the history of this great football club and the passion of its fantastically loyal supporters.

"Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Barclays Premier League, but beyond that, the future is very bright and fills me with great enthusiasm."

Fernandes insists Hughes is the man to keep QPR up.

He said: "Mark has a proven track record in the Premier League, bringing a wealth of experience at both Club and international level.

"He has a great passion to achieve as a manager and has already been hugely successful in his career.

"His ambitions match those of the Board and we are delighted to have him at the helm." Mirror

Dave McIntyre/West London Sport - Paul Parker's Perspective re Hughes and QPR (and Great Parker comments re QPR)

Hughes may need to change style – Parker


by David McIntyre

Ex-QPR and England star Paul Parker believes his former team-mate Mark Hughes may have to adjust his style if he is to succeed at Loftus Road.

Parker knows the Welshman well, having playing alongside him for Manchester United after leaving west London in 1991.

And he insists the sometimes aloof Hughes will find managing Rangers a very different type of assignment to his last job at Fulham.

“QPR are in a precarious position and need to dig themselves out of it, but ‘Sparky’ doesn’t lose many battles,” Parker told West London Sport.

“Sparky’s got a reputation from when he was a player and he’s got to earn the respect of QPR fans.”

“He inspired Blackburn after taking over from Graeme Souness and will be looking to do the same at Rangers. It’s a great chance for him.”

Parker, who started his career with Fulham, added: “When you manage QPR you’re part of a community as well as being a manager.

“I hope Sparky appreciates that and is open, comes out and speaks to people. He’ll need to engage the fans.

“He’s managed Fulham but I can say that QPR is 100% a totally different club to Fulham – and he’ll find that.

“Fulham don’t have the same mentality or hardcore of fans as QPR. At Rangers you find loads of fans who were there way before I played there and can tell you everything about that club.

“It’s a proper club – a smaller version of Man United in that sense. Fulham is a different type of club and the QPR way is something I hope Sparky embraces.

“I’ve always likened QPR to West Ham, who were my local team. They’re similar sorts of clubs.

Parker was a fans’ favourite at QPR.

“It’s a great chance for him there and I’d love to see him do well because I love QPR – it’s always them I look out for first.”

Hughes, 48, is remembered by many R’s fans for his bruising – and sometimes controversial – encounters with Parker, Danny Maddix and in particular Alan McDonald during the 80s and 90s.

He also played for Rangers’ local rivals Chelsea, but Parker believes supporters will be keen to get behind the new man.

“Sparky’s got a reputation from when he was a player and he’s got to earn the respect of QPR fans,” he said.

“A lot of Rangers fans don’t like him because they accuse him of getting Alan McDonald sent off [in an FA Cup tie in 1989].

“But results make all the difference and they’ll of course give him an opportunity if things go well.”

Hughes’ appointment was confirmed within 48 hours of Neil Warnock’s sacking. He met the players for the first time at Rangers’ Harlington training ground on Tuesday afternoon.

And with the R’s having recently been linked with the likes of Chris Samba, Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora, Parker suspects the ex-Manchester City boss was lined up by majority shareholder Tony Fernandes some time ago.

“He must have been in the thoughts of Tony Fernandes,” Parker said.

Fernandes is keen to make major signings.

“You look at the players QPR have been linked with over the last six to eight weeks and they’ve mostly been at Blackburn or Fulham – players who’ve played under him before.

“It may be a pure coincidence, but it seems very strange to me. It suggests to me that Fernandes wanted Mark Hughes all along.”

He added: “Tony Fernandes is all about big names. He wants big-name players and a big-name manager.

“And for quite a small club, Rangers has always been a very good club – a top club in London for many years – and will feel they’re back where they belong now.

“But you have to earn the right to sign big players. You first have to consolidate in the Premier League and once that happens, I’m sure players will want to go to QPR because it’s a good club.

“It’s also a club in the best part of London. Players from up north and outside England will want to live around west London rather than anywhere else, so Sparky’s got a great opportunity.” West London Sport

The Updated First Team Staff Directory

(Currently have TWO Goalkeeping coaches: Incoming Kevin Hitchock. And David Rouse whose been with QPR for several years]

Manager - Mark Hughes
Assistant Manager - Mark Bowen
First Team Coach - Eddie Niedzwiecki
Goalkeeping Coach - Kevin Hitchcock

Reserve Team Manager - Ronnie Jepson
Strength & Conditioning Coach - Carl Serrant
Goalkeeping Coach - David Rouse
Head Physio - Nigel Cox
Assistant Physio - Sangi Patel
Kit Man - Gary Doyle
January 11 2012 Premiership Table: The Start of the Hughes Era!

January 11, 2012
1 Man City 20 40 48
2 Man Utd 20 29 45
3 Tottenham 19 16 42
4 Chelsea 20 14 37
5 Arsenal 20 8 36
6 Liverpool 20 6 34
7 Newcastle 20 4 33
8 Stoke 20 -9 29
9 Norwich 20 -5 25
10 Sunderland 20 4 24
11 Everton 19 -2 24
12 Swansea 20 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 20 -4 23
14 Fulham 20 -4 23
15 West Brom 20 -9 22
16 Wolves 20 -14 17
17 QPR 20 -16 17
18 Bolton 20 -18 16
19 Wigan 20 -23 15
20 Blackburn 20 -14 14

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