LONDON: Mark Hughes won 15 trophies during his 20-year career as a robust striker with Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Blackburn Rovers; but 13 years in management have brought nothing as yet and that wait must go on after his sacking by Queens Park Rangers writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Welshman had survived a stream of votes of confidence from owner Tony Fernandes this season but even those fizzled out this week with QPR sitting bottom of the table after last Saturday’s defeat by fellow strugglers, Southampton.
Hughes’s departure was not thus a surprise, only the timing. Where neighbours Chelsea took only a matter of hours to axe Roberto Di Matteo after their midweek Champions League beating by Juventus, QPR waited nearly five days to act – around 36 hours before a daunting Premier League visit to Manchester United.
Perhaps QPR had intended to wait until the Old Trafford trip from which they could expect to return with nothing; perhaps their hand was forced suddenly by the revelation that favourite successor, Harry Redknapp, was supposedly interested in becoming manager of Ukraine.
Redknapp, approached by various media outlets after the Hughes sacking, has reportedly entered discussions with QPR.
A QPR statement said: “The circumstances we find ourselves in have left the board of directors with very little choice but to make a change. We are working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.
“This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the board of directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days. The board of directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his 10 months in charge. Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time.”
Assistant manager Mark Bowen and coach Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge against Manchester United on Saturday.
QPR managed to preserve their Premier League status last season only in the final minutes of the final day. Hughes said: “There is no way we will be in this situation again in my time here.”
The club may be there, certainly he will not.
Hughes had made major changes to his squad, bringing in the likes of keeper Julio Cesar, defender Jose Bosingwa, midfielders Esteban Granero, Park Ji-sung and Stephane Mbia, as well as strikers Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora. But they have collected only four points from their opening 12 games, including eight defeats.
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