Hughes rejects Barton claims
Published 03/04/2014 | 17:12
Former QPR boss Mark Hughes has denied Joey Barton's claims that he does not accept some responsibility for the club's problems.
Barton, the controversial Rangers midfielder, this week launched an attack on Hughes via Twitter, claiming the players now at Loftus Road were "trying to clean up his mess".
Barton's outburst was prompted by a newspaper interview in which Hughes, now in charge at Stoke, urged people not to judge him on the dismal start to the 2012-13 season that cost him his job at QPR.
Hughes was sacked just 12 games into what proved a nightmare campaign for the London club, ending in relegation from the Premier League. They are now in heavy debt and looking unlikely to secure automatic promotion from the Championship.
Hughes is now rebuilding his reputation at the Britannia Stadium, but Barton claims he has not accepted his share of blame for the demise of the Rs.
Barton tweeted: "Accept you failed. Accept your to blame. Be humble and apologise to a club you left in a hell of a worse situation than when you came."
Hughes insists he has never shied away from his part in what went wrong, but has no interest in returning fire on the outspoken Barton.
Hughes said: "The game is full of opinions. Joey seems to have a lot more opinions than most.
"It is one of those things. A lot of blame was placed at my door and I accepted it at the time, because I was party to something that unfortunately didn't go as well as everyone involved wanted it to go.
"It wasn't through the lack of trying. We all worked exceptionally hard to make it work, but sometimes the dynamic of a dressing room doesn't allow it to work. That is what happened.
"Joey has a view, I have a view as well on Joey - but I keep my thoughts to myself."
Hughes, speaking at a press conference to preview his side's Barclays Premier League trip to Chelsea this weekend, was asked to elaborate further on the issue of culpability.
He said: "There is a lot of blame. I have taken my share of the blame and rightly so. Some of it is warranted and some of it isn't. That happens in football.
"Everyone worked hard to try to make it happen. There were a lot of issues at the club.
"It was a difficult time for everyone involved but I wish them well. I hope they go up this year."
Hughes has enjoyed an encouraging first season at Stoke and the club, in 10th, are hoping to secure a top-half finish for the first time since promotion to the top flight in 2008.
The Potters have won four and drawn one of their last five games and Hughes feels the team are on course to hit the targets he set on arrival last summer.
He said: "Now we have put ourselves in a really strong position to achieve what we set out to do at the start of the year.
"It is about making sure we capitalise on the position we have put ourselves in for these last six games."
Stoke have Jonathan Walters available again at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but Oussama Assaidi and Robert Huth remain on the sidelines with knee injuries.