QPR boss Hughes reveals his target for this season
10:05 17 November 2012
Mark Hughes has so much faith in his own ability as a manager that he thinks he can drag QPR to a mid-table finish this season.
Rock-bottom QPR will try to secure their first Barclays Premier League win of the campaign at the 12th attempt tomorrow when they welcome fellow strugglers Southampton to Loftus Road.
Both bosses head into tomorrow’s game under pressure - particularly Hughes after QPR chairman Tony Fernandes’ claim on Twitter last week that his team “must win” the six-pointer against the south-coast club, who are one point above Rangers.
But Hughes vehemently denied today that he is not good enough to turn around the club’s season.
The ever-positive Welshman, who has been in charge of QPR for 10 months, even believes he is capable of closing that 10-point gap that separates his team and the safe haven of mid-table.
“Our hope was to finish in the top half and I still think that is a possibility,” Hughes said.
“Obviously we need to start winning quickly and that is our intention at the weekend, but we feel we have the capacity, and we feel teams above us will have periods when they will struggle, like we have at the beginning.
“We feel now with injuries clearing that we are through our period and we hope to prove that at the weekend and kick on.”
Whether Hughes gets enough time to see the season out is another matter.
Fernandes has often voiced his support for his manager in recent weeks, but he seemed to offer an ultimatum to Hughes - although the Welshman denies that was the case - last weekend when he said the Southampton game was a “must-win” encounter.
Hughes, who was sacked by Manchester City three years ago, does not know if he will suffer the same fate if his team do not beat Saints.
“That is not my decision,” he said. “We are frustrated, as are the fans and owners but people should take comfort from the fact that everything is in focus.
“Everyone understands we are doing everything possible to turn it around, and we will do, because we do the right things on a daily basis.”
Rangers, whose only victory this term came against Walsall in the Capital One Cup, have been criticised for a series of individual errors this season.
Some of the club’s more expensive signings - who have come from clubs like as Real Madrid and Inter Milan - have also been accused of lacking the gumption to deal with a relegation dog-fight, but Hughes insists that is not the case.
He said: “I don’t (buy into that).
“If you’re a top player and you’ve had the chance to play at Chelsea, Man United or Real Madrid then you have got qualities that make you a certain type of player.
“Irrespective of the circumstances you find yourself in you get on with the job because that’s the mentality you need to play at the top.
“They have the fight, absolutely. That goes without saying.
“They are not extrovert players and I see things here every day that doesn’t allow me to doubt them in any way, shape or form because they are top players.
“It might take a little bit of time to come to terms with what’s going on because you haven’t experienced it.”
The table dictates QPR will have no better chance of claiming victory than tomorrow’s game and Hughes is convinced his team will finally end their wait for a win.
“My expectation is that we will get the three points tomorrow and we will start the long road back,” he said.
“We have been in this position too many times. We can’t keep on saying that we played well and our performances have merited more, because we need to step up to the plate and take maximum points.”