Hughes hanging on
Published 19/11/2012 | 20:58
Mark Hughes has met with QPR chief executive Philip Beard as speculation continues to mount about the Welshman's position at the London club.
There have been claims that Hughes' 10-month reign would be terminated by chairman Tony Fernandes this week after the club's wretched start to the season. Rangers are rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League, five points behind 17th place Reading, who have a match in hand.
Hughes met with Beard - the man Fernandes sent to fire previous manager Neil Warnock. QPR sources have insisted it was "business as usual" at the struggling club, and that Hughes remained in charge despite speculation on Twitter that the former Chelsea striker had been sacked.
Having signed 11 first-team players - some of them from Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United - Hughes was expected to guide Rangers to the top half of the table, but a 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday stretched QPR's winless run to 11 matches.
But Rangers have winnable games against Sunderland, Aston Villa and Wigan coming up, and former QPR striker Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given four matches to prove his worth.
"If I was the owner, I would sit down now and say 'Mark, I am going to give you four games," Marsh told BBC Sport. "I would say 'We are in desperate trouble. If we don't improve our league position in four games, I am going to have to make a change.'"
Hughes himself pleaded to be given time and even said last Friday that he was convinced he could achieve a mid-table finish this season.
Fernandes, who has given Hughes his unequivocal backing on Twitter in recent weeks, was less forthcoming following Saturday's loss.
He said: "Let me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down. Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They deserve better."
The Malaysian businessman spent the weekend in the United States before heading back home, and he hinted on Twitter that Hughes' position may be on his mind, saying: "Long long flught to think of many things. Just stopped of at osaka. Now back home to kuala lumpur."