Tuesday 24 April 2018

Hughes confident Rangers will avoid hammer-blow

Jamie Holland

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes knows it has not been the greatest of starts to the season but has backed his side to turn the corner sooner rather than later.

Rangers have yet to win a Premier League match this campaign, collecting just two points from a possible 15 heading into tonight's clash with West Ham.

That indifferent start has seen the pressure begin to mount on Hughes, who the bookmakers make second favourite to be the next top-flight manager to leave their post. Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is the favourite.

Hughes, though, is not too concerned with such talk and believes his side will soon start picking up victories, especially when they are able to call upon a number of defenders again.

"I think for the most part our performances have been fine up to a point," said Hughes, who will have to do without the injured Anton Ferdinand, Jose Bosingwa, Fabio and Armand Traore at Loftus Road tonight.

"Obviously we need to see games out," he explained "We have selection problems at the moment in a key area of the field -- in defence.

"We have had too much of a turnover in terms of selection and personnel changes so that doesn't lend well to having that continuity of performance. We've created some decent football in the initial period but it was always going to take time.

"At the moment it is difficult because we cannot get that continuity of selection, certainly in the defensive area."

Like Rangers, West Ham brought in a number of recruits during the summer and it was the arrivals of Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis which helped convince Mark Noble to sign a new contract at West Ham after he began to question the club's ambition.

Last week saw the 25-year-old end speculation about his future by penning a new three-year deal with the Hammers.

Noble has spent a decade at Upton Park and throughout all that time, the club never spent £10m on a player -- a fact Noble acknowledged concerned him before the club-record £10.75m summer signing of Jarvis and the arrival on loan of Carroll, who could smash that mark if his move is made permanent.

QPR v West Ham,

Live Sky Sports, Sky Sports 1, 8.0

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport