QPR boss abandons hope of mid-table finish as relegation fears intensify
07:30 19 November 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Mark Hughes told QPR to forget about a mid-table finish and prepare for a relegation dogfight after Saturday’s woeful 3-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.
Goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon put the Saints into a commanding lead at the halfway point at Loftus Road.
Junior Hoilett hit back for the home side after the break but a late own goal from Anton Ferdinand sealed QPR’s fate and pile more pressure on Hughes, who was subjected to cries of “you don’t know what you’re doing” by the furious home fans.
Before the Southampton match Hughes insisted he was still targeting a mid-table finish for rock-bottom QPR, but he has now told his side to lower their expectations.
“We’re at a point in time where we need to understand where we are,” he reflected.
“We’re not talking about successful mid-table finish now because, given the manner of the performance today, we have to accept that we’re in danger of going down.
“The sooner we recognise that [the better].”
The Welshman also took responsibility for his team selection against Southampton, saying he was guilty of picking the wrong players.
“We have to get the right mentality to move us forward and maybe the right players,” he said.
“I take responsibility for that given the performance; I picked the wrong players today.
“I think we lacked that mental strength that you need,” he continued.
“We need to be able to compete and we need to be able to understand what’s required.
“Sometimes we’re looking a little bit naïve and dumbstruck by what’s going on around us.”