Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Rangers’ boss prepares for crucial run in

It has been a far from perfect start to life at Loftus Road for Mark Hughes, he has seen his side pick up a mere 5 points since he replaced Neil Warnock at the helm of the West London club.

Despite the dismal start the former Manchester City boss remains confident that his side have enough about them to secure a second season in the top flight and build for the future. Speaking after his side’s recent home defeat to derby rivals Fulham, Hughes called for discipline and reiterated his belief that his side have the quality to survive.

Mark Hughes
Indiscipline has played a huge part in QPR’s downfall this season with five players seeing red and new signing Djibril Cisse and Samba Diakite recently picking up costly bans.

What will worry Rangers’ fans is that their run in includes fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. Unlike the teams around them after their trip to Bolton on Saturday they do not face anyone directly involved in the relegation scrap. 

Saturday’s can certainly be considered a so called “six pointer” as Hughes’ men face sides with aspirations of competing for the title and securing European football for next season. It looks as though it is going to be three from the current bottom five that will go down with the likes of Aston Villa and Swansea looking to have enough quality to not get dragged in.

It is clear that they should have much more points on the board by now just the way Norwich and Swansea have done.

Recent signings Bobby Zamora and Cisse will finally get to link up again after the former Liverpool man’s dismal half an hour into his home debut against Wolves. They have the pedigree to get the goals that Hughes needs but the big question is can they deliver when the pressure is really on?

Bobby Zamora 
At the back they have now conceded in eighteen consecutive matches, with their last clean sheet coming against Chelsea in their biggest success since their return to the elite. The character shown by his side to fight back from the setback of Everton’s early goal on Saturday will have encouraged Hughes but he will know the hard work starts at the Reebok.

The players have to come up big during the run in and the Loftus Road faithful are going to play a huge part in their battle to avoid the drop, Hughes remains confident in his side but he knows deep down that he faces the biggest challenge of his managerial career to date and simply cannot fail.

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