Tuesday 28 March 2017

Hughes looks to create a 'mini-Arsenal' at Loftus Road

Jason Burt

MARK HUGHES accepted the job as Queens Park Rangers manager because he had a burning desire to create "some kind of legacy" at the club.

Hughes said yesterday that he would remain at QPR even if they are relegated from the Premier League this season because he wanted to "build something from the start" and recognised the opportunity to completely overhaul the club from "bottom to the top".

Sources close to the 48-year-old Welshman explained his vision to create what was termed a "mini-Arsenal" and develop the same kind of dynasty as Arsene Wenger with a new stadium, new training ground and facilities and infrastructure fit for a top-10 Premier League club.

"I'm hoping we can get to the point where we are a well-established Premier League club," said Hughes, who has signed an initial two-year deal. "We want to get to the point where we are consistently tough to beat and consistently in the top 10."

That overhaul will start with the immediate task of reshaping the squad in the remainder of the January transfer window.

A £3m bid has been submitted for Alex -- who has had a transfer request accepted at Chelsea -- and QPR hope to sign two out of three central defensive targets, with Blackburn's Christopher Samba and Manchester City's Nedum Onuoha also on their list.

The likelihood is that Alex and Onuoha will sign and QPR will also take left-back Wayne Bridge from City as Hughes rebuilds his defence.

A striker is also a priority but hopes of signing either Andrew Johnson or Bobby Zamora will fade because of the acrimony between Hughes and Fulham, the club he left last summer after exercising the release clause in his contract.

"Invariably, you are scraping around for things in January but this time there is actually quality that we will be able to get," he said.

The budget for player acquisitions this month is thought to be less than £10m, although substantially more money will be made available in the summer by the club's wealthy Asian backers.

Hughes' bruising experience at Manchester City, where he was unceremoniously sacked, and felt he had compromised himself with the way the club were run, will influence him. "I am a better manager now than when I first went through that," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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