Chairman's apology for Saints loss makes things look ominous for Hughes

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

First published in Saints News

Under-fire QPR manager Mark Hughes is the overwhelming bookmakers' favourite to become the first Premier League manager sacked this season after a defeat to Saints that chairman Tony Fernandes felt the need to apologise for.

The bottom-of-the-table Hoops yesterday suffered an embarrassing 3-1 home loss to their fellow strugglers - a side that came into the match just a point and a place better off.

QPR were booed off at half-time after deservedly falling two goals behind to Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon efforts.

Rangers threatened a comeback when Junior Hoilett netted four minutes into the second half, but Saints' domination continued and Anton Ferdinand's own goal wrapped things up.

"Hughes out" and "You're only here for the money" were chanted by portions of the disgruntled home support, who again showed their displeasure with boos at the final whistle.

It was a result and, most pertinently, performance that led chairman Fernandes to take to Twitter, but, unlike so many times before, he stopped short of backing manager Hughes.

"I feel gutted," Fernandes said.

"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."

Some bookies shortened the odds on Hughes becoming the first top-flight manager to lose his job to 1/3 after a game in which Southampton counterpart Nigel Adkins drifted to 10/1.

The Welshman, though, remained defiant after yesterday's defeat, which he pinned on the lack of desire shown by his players.

"The fans are well within their rights to criticise myself and the staff that prepare the team, and the team, because the performance was not of the required level," Hughes said. "We have to take it on the chin and ride it out.

"Listen, I don't run away from situations. I came into the situation with my eyes wide open and it's my intention to see it through."

Fernandes tweeted in the build-up to the game that, "for the millionth time", he would not be firing Hughes and has regularly highlighted the need for stability.

Told of the comments, Hughes said: "The club does need stability, absolutely, and that is what we are trying to bring.

"It's a huge effort to bring the club to where it wants to be and we are going through a lot of pain at the moment, but there was always potential for that.

"It only changes if you win football matches and that has been difficult for us this year. I still have confidence in the group that I have.

"They totally underperformed and each and every one of them held their hands up and accepted that.

"Maybe that's a watershed moment because we can't get any lower than this so it is about how high we bounce now."

Comments (5)

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3:59pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Just another reader says...

Embarrassing defeat? We smashed them pure and simple. They had no answer. Why does that make it an embarrassing defeat?
Embarrassing defeat? We smashed them pure and simple. They had no answer. Why does that make it an embarrassing defeat? Just another reader
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Sun 18 Nov 12

frenchvic says...

Deadman walking.
Deadman walking. frenchvic
  • Score: 0

8:28am Mon 19 Nov 12

Strasbourg Saint says...

That's it for Hughes, then.

Tony Fernandes & 'arry-the-skate Houdini - the perfect marriage methinks.
That's it for Hughes, then. Tony Fernandes & 'arry-the-skate Houdini - the perfect marriage methinks. Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Mon 19 Nov 12

CB FRY LIVES says...

Lets hope Fernandez sticks with Sparky for the rest of the season then i think QPR wil get one of the relegation spots.the other 2 teams i think will be relegated are WIGAN and VILLA.
COYR
Lets hope Fernandez sticks with Sparky for the rest of the season then i think QPR wil get one of the relegation spots.the other 2 teams i think will be relegated are WIGAN and VILLA. COYR CB FRY LIVES
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Malcy says...

I watched match of the day and highlights on Saints site, I listen to Dave Merrington who knows what it's like to be a Manager, a very experienced man, he see's the flaws that can lead to bad mistakes and allow the opposition to go on and score and says what is needed to correct the mistakes, as a supporter but not an expert I can also see the need to improve to stay in the Premiership, it's the defence, it appears Fonte is a few brain cells slower than the opposition, Yushida is out of his depth at times, they need an experienced central defender who's been there and done it, I'm sure Nigel and his Team have seen the weak link and will get it right, Interesting to see other comments on this problem
I watched match of the day and highlights on Saints site, I listen to Dave Merrington who knows what it's like to be a Manager, a very experienced man, he see's the flaws that can lead to bad mistakes and allow the opposition to go on and score and says what is needed to correct the mistakes, as a supporter but not an expert I can also see the need to improve to stay in the Premiership, it's the defence, it appears Fonte is a few brain cells slower than the opposition, Yushida is out of his depth at times, they need an experienced central defender who's been there and done it, I'm sure Nigel and his Team have seen the weak link and will get it right, Interesting to see other comments on this problem Malcy
  • Score: 0

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