Fernandes: We couldn't miss out on Harry
Published 18/12/2012 | 12:39
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes admits he would probably have given Mark Hughes more time had he not feared losing out on Harry Redknapp.
The Welshman was sacked last month after the west Londoners failed to win any of their opening 12 league matches, with a 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton proving the final straw. Redknapp was quickly installed as Hughes' successor, with the Rs boss revealing he had been very close to taking control of the Ukraine national team.
That option appears to have forced Fernandes' hand, with the QPR chairman revealing he could not risk losing out on the former Tottenham boss. "Harry is a special manager," he told the club's official website, www.qpr.co.uk.
"If he wasn't available, I would probably have persevered with Mark, but Harry is a fantastic manager. I've known him for years going back to when he was at West Ham. Harry being available swung it for us. We're all in this together. No shirking. Let's see what Harry and the boys do.
"It's up to the 11 guys on the pitch to make it happen for us now. If we can pick up a couple of more wins before the new year, we're back to where we were this time last year. Coming off a win and three draws, there's a bit of renewed confidence about the place now."
QPR are unbeaten in four matches since Redknapp's arrival and picked up their first league win of the season against Fulham on Saturday.
The Hoops are, though, five points adrift of safety and remain in danger of going down. There had been suggestions that relegation to the npower Championship could see Fernandes leave Loftus Road - something he has been quick to deny.
"Come what may, in May, we'll still be here," he said. "I'm firmly committed to the club. I'm not someone who's going to run away from things. There are still a lot of good things happening. The training ground is well on track and the stadium plans are progressing. We're hopeful of getting category two status in the Academy.
"There's no change to our off-the-field strategy. There are lots of good things going on. We inherited a club that needed a hell of a lot of work and we'll continue to progress with our short, medium and long term goals. I'm a strong character who has been through a hell of a lot in life. The aviation business isn't for those with a weak heart.
"But I've got to say, the run of results - before Harry came in - really affected me. It's been really tough. I'm the leader and it's a great shame that after so much honest effort, we are where we are in the table."
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