Former QPR player and manager Iain Dowie believes Mark Hughes deserves more time at the helm to give the players he has brought into the club a chance to gel.
Hughes, top, is widely believed to be fighting to hang onto his qpr job after Saturday’s 3-1 loss against Saints – the team he once played for – left Rangers four points adrift at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table and still looking for a first victory 12 games in.
The results have been even more disappointing considering the influx of high-profile players to Loftus Road in the summer, including Park Ji-sung from Manchester United, Esteban Granero from Real Madrid and former Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
But Dowie, another former Saints striker, believes that is part of the problem.
“Mark’s a very experienced manager and he’ll understand that, when you don’t get results, you come under pressure. But with the sheer number of players that have come in, it takes time to gel.
“I felt they were outplayed on Saturday and that will be the big disappointment for Mark and his coaching staff. Southampton looked the more creative side, which will be a big concern.’’ Dowie, meanwhile, does not agree with criticism that QPR’s players are not giving their all to try to get the club out of trouble.
He said: “Sometimes when things aren’t going your way people throw up the line about players not trying. When you look at the likes of (Ryan) Nelsen and (Jamie) Mackie, I think they do have players who’ll demand effort. Mark’s sides have always been that way.’’ Hughes insisted after the match that QPR need stability and his position has been defended unequivocally in recent weeks by owner Tony Fernandes.
However, Fernandes did not mention Hughes in his Twitter comments after the game this time, instead apologising to the fans for the performance.
He said: “I feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.
“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.’’
Full story in today's Daily Echo